RECENT RELEASE: Nightflower

March 18, 2020

Nightflower

I attended an American seminary where most of the girls were boarders at the homes of various families in the community. Girls from all over America, as well as from Israel, France, and Australia, boarded with local families in groups of 2, 3, 4, or even 5 or 6 per home. One family, whom I’ll call the Golds, had 6 girls boarding with them that year—all at the same time! They converted their basement into a virtual dormitory, with 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms, and the girls called it, “The Golds’ Boarders’ Quarters.” They loved it!

Most of the boarding arrangements seemed to work out great, but of course there were always those situations where the boarders and their hosts were simply not a “shidduch,” and then arrangements had to be reshuffled.

When I read Nightflower, a top-notch novel with a most intriguing, out-of-the-box plot, it made me think back to my long-ago seminary year and all those boarding arrangements. This was because two of the characters in this book are boarders, living with other families. The two girls, however, are as different from each other as night and day, and while Rachel might seem a bit…much for most hosting families, she is adorable as she is helpful, and a ray of sunshine in her host Chaiky’s life. Whereas Anna is…quite the opposite, to put it mildly…

But why should I ruin this bestseller for you? Pick up a copy of this book and read it yourself, before I form any judgments of its characters in your mind!

Seriously, this is one book you’ll find yourself reading over and over again…yes, it’s that good!

 

Click here to purchase online.


NEW RELEASE: Framed!

March 16, 2020

Framed!

“All of my kids loved this book, from my 3rd grader up to my 9th grader!”

“My son could not put this book down!”

This is some of the feedback we’ve been hearing from parents whose kids have read Framed! Or perhaps “gobbled up” would be a better way of putting it!

There’s something unusual about this book. It’s a top-notch, spine-tingling, bona fide thriller novel, yet there are no phones (certainly no cell phones!), cars, or planes anywhere in the plot. That’s because the story takes place in long-ago Eastern Europe, when fervently religious but illiterate peasants were mainstays at Jewish-owned taverns, and Catholic priests were often conniving, insincere individuals who wanted nothing more but to harm the Jews…and line their pockets with money.

Against this historical backdrop, skilled author Chayele Kohane weaves a dramatic plot that will keep your tweens and teens on their toes, from the first page until the very last. This is a most wholesome novel, and it contains plenty of wonderful lessons as well. But at the same time, there’s no skimping on the fun and suspense with this book!

Read Framed! for yourself (adults have loved it too!), and you’ll see just what we mean!

 

Click here to purchase online.


NEW RELEASE: Middos Malka

November 27, 2019

Middos Malka

“I wish I was a boy,” my daughter told me recently.

I think it was after a grand Avos U’banim event, when her brothers came home loaded with soda cans and other nosh and prizes. Or maybe it was after Simchas Torah, when—again—her brothers got to collect a whole lot more candy than her, since she was stuck in the women’s section while they were in the center of all the action.

I tried to explain to her the many perks that only she, as a girl, had—perks like more vacation days than her brothers, and more class plays and performances, and a fun G.O. program in school… It took a few more examples, but eventually she stopped grumbling about it.

It got me thinking, though. I bet there are many little girls out there who wish they were boys. So many of the popular figures in kids’ lives are male—Uncle Moishy, the Twins from France, MiddosMan

Wait. Stop right there, because news flash: MiddosMan now has a female counterpart, his cousin Middos Malka, who’s raring to go fight Mr. Yetzer Hara as wholeheartedly and with as much zest and sense of adventure as MiddosMan himself!

Yes, you read that right. The newest book in the MiddosMan series is actually starring his cousin, Middos Malka. And just like all the other MiddosMan books, it’s got a read-along CD with great music and songs, as well as fantastic illustrations inside the book.

So if you’ve got a little girl in your life who could use a great gift, go ahead and get her Middos Malka.

And watch her delight in the magic…

Click here to purchase online.


RECENT RELEASE: These Are the Candles

November 26, 2019

These Are the Candles

I remember playing a game with some of my kids when they were just toddlers. It basically entailed schmoozing with them about the Shabbos seudah and going through all the courses aloud together:

“First we have Kiddush, and then comes—”

“Challah!”

“That’s right! Then we have fi—“

“Fish!”

“You got it! And with the fish we have—”
“Salad!”

And so on, until the child’s favorite part of the meal—dessert. (Of course.) And without fail, at the mention of each special Shabbos food, the child’s face would light up in recognition and anticipation of that familiar, yummy delicacy.

There’s just something so beautifully natural and real about even our youngest children’s excitement for anything Shabbos-related.

These Are the Candles truly builds on this natural excitement in children for Shabbos, with its warm and simple rhymes about our preparations for the holy day, and then the fun and “geshmak” once we light candles and the Day of Rest actually sets in.

Explore the wonderful aspects of Shabbos through the eyes of your children, in this adorable kids book that will fast become a family favorite!

Click here to purchase online.


RECENT RELEASE: Fraidy Can Still Smile

November 14, 2019

Fraidy Can Still Smile

 “Oh, NO! What did you DO?!!!”

The screech is immediately followed by an indignant wail, and I know right away that the baby has once again gotten into her big sister’s napkin collection.

Sure enough, my daughter comes bounding downstairs ten seconds later, her face like a thundercloud. “Ma, look what she did!! She just ripped up my two best napkins!! Why can’t someone keep her AWAY FROM MY STUFF?!”

What can I tell my daughter? “If you would keep your stuff high on the shelf, the baby wouldn’t be able to get to it…” That might be the absolute truth, but it’s certainly not going to make her feel any better right now.

You know what would be really helpful? If she would just think to herself, Give a few years, and our baby will b’ezras Hashem grow up. She’ll stop ripping up my napkins and ruining my things. (And anyway, in another few years I’ll also be older and hopefully more mature, and maybe I won’t care so much about ripped up napkins anymore!)

Okay, so the parenthesis part would really be pushing it, but do you realize how many tears and tantrums could be spared if our kids only realized that babies don’t mean to be bothersome; they’re just discovering the world around them, doing what all babies do?

If you’re nodding along with me up until now, you would absolutely love the book Fraidy Can Still Smile, a children’s picture book all about learning to deal with younger siblings. In this book, Fraidy is feeling frustrated when her baby brother Yossi messes up her toys and rips up her coloring sheets. Then Fraidy comes across some photos of herself as a baby…and suddenly the whole picture changes!

Fraidy Can Still Smile is the adorable story of a little girl who learns how to be flexible and tolerant of younger siblings who sometimes act pesky. Bursting with vibrant illustrations and important lessons, this book is sure to bring a smile to every child’s face. (P.S. And to their parents!)

Click here to purchase online.

 


RECENT RELEASE: One Pot, One Pan

November 13, 2019

One Pot, One Pan

I’ll never forget my first attempt at baking cookies.

I was in elementary school, and I decided that I would bake chocolate chip cookies. Feeling very big, I went through the recipe and began measuring and pouring, until I got to one particular ingredient: The recipe called for shortening (this was pre-trans-fat-hype era, of course), but I didn’t know what that was.

“I think it’s like oil,” I finally decided. But since I wasn’t entirely sure, I decided to put in some extra oil just to make up for the discrepancy. (What was I thinking? I have no idea!)

Needless to say, the resulting cookie dough was so oily, the balls wouldn’t stay put on the cookie sheet! They kept rolling and sliding around, making a big, slippery mess of everything. I remember thinking that we should really rename this recipe and call it “Oil Cookies” instead of “Chocolate Chip Cookies”…

I don’t think this story would have happened to me had I simply used the One Pot, One Pan cookbook. This is a cookbook where the recipes are so easy, clear, and straightforward, that even a beginner cook would do great in the kitchen while using it.

Not that a seasoned balabuste couldn’t use this cookbook too, though! As its subtitle reads, “Super Simple, Easy and Delicious Recipes for Beginners, Balabustas and Everyone in Between,” and enough big names in the kosher cooking industry, like Jamie Geller and the Kosher Guru, have agreed that it’s a real winner of a cookbook.

Filled with many tried-and-true, handy recipes that anyone, at any age or stage in life, can whip up easily, this is the go-to cookbook for busy moms needing to get supper on the table (preferably within ten minutes); bachurim or sem girls cooking for themselves in a dirah (without much cooking ware available); preteens who want to try their hand in the kitchen (whether or not they know their way around it); and anyone in between! You’ll find all your favorite comfort foods in here: classic chicken soup, Israeli salad, lemon-garlic chicken, meat lasagna, potato latkes, baked ziti, granola bars, brownies, iced coffee, and much more.

Click here to purchase online.


NEW RELEASE: The Ribnitzer Rebbe

September 26, 2019

The Ribnitzer Rebbe

Tammuz was a rainy, cloud-filled  month that year in Chicago. The Ribnitzer Rebbe, who had traveled to Chicago for a wedding, wanted to say Kiddush Levanah, but as the days passed, the sky remained cloudy, and the moon could not be seen. It was one of the last nights on which Kiddush Levanah could still be said for Tammuz. The Rebbe stood outside with a small group of men, trying to catch a glimpse of the moon—but it was simply not visible.

The Rebbe called over his gabbai. “Please take this towel and dip it into the mikveh,” he instructed.

When the gabbai returned with the wet towel, the Rebbe thanked him, took the towel, and flicked it several times toward the sky. Suddenly the clouds parted in the sky, and the moon appeared, shining brightly.

The Rebbe was able to recite Kiddush Levanah.

True story. I know, because that wedding in Chicago, for which the Ribnitzer Rebbe had traveled to the Windy (and cloudy) City, was that of my parents, and I’d heard this amazing story a few times from them.

Though you’d probably have believed the story even without this personal add-on—because, after all, we’re talking about the Ribnitzer Rebbe here, the tzaddik for whom mofsim and miracles were commonplace.

Now you can read an entire book about the Ribnitzer Rebbe’s greatness and the miracles he helped bring about! The Ribnitzer Rebbe was authored by a close chassid and confidant of the Rebbe, Rabbi Avraham (Romi) Cohn, who witnessed firsthand many of the eye-popping “miracle worker” stories that he relates.  In addition to the memories, anecdotes, and lessons written about in this book, it also  includes many photos, as well as a synopsis of the Rebbe’s early years in the USSR.

Prepare to be mesmerized by The Ribnitzer Rebbe. Prepare to be inspired.

Click here to purchase online.