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random jottings

04/01/2021 11:09:18 AM


Aileen Grossberg, Librarian

Every year the International Board on Books for Young People sponsors a day to celebrate children’s books. Called International Children’s Book Day,  the celebration falls on Hans Christian Andersen’s birthday, April 2.  The intent is to both  inspire a love of reading and to call attention to children's books.

 This year’s poster and message come from the United States. The colorful poster was designed by Roger Mello, an internationally acclaimed illustrator, author , and awinner of the Hans Christian Andersen award. 

The inspiration message about books was authored by Margarita Engle, a Cuban-American, author of many lauded books including the 2010 Sydney  Taylor winner in the teen category, Tropical Secrets.  This  novel-in-verse, tells of the plight of Holocaust refugees from the perspective of several characters, each of whom has a distinct voice.

Here is her poem for International Children’s Book Day:

The Music of Words

When we read, our minds grow wings.

When we write, our fingers sing.

Words are drumbeats and flutes on the page,

soaring songbirds and trumpeting elephants,

rivers that flow, waterfalls tumbling,

butterflies that twirl

high in the sky!

Words invite us to dance---rhythms, rhymes, heartbeats,

hoofbeats, and wingbeats, old tales and new ones,

fantasies and true ones.

Whether you are cozy at home

or racing across borders toward a new land

and a strange language, stories and poems

belong to you.

When we share words, our voices

become the music of the future,

peace, joy and friendship,

a melody

of hope.


Some children’s books of international or cross cultural  interest include:

                                   Honey on the page: A treasury of Yiddish children’s literature

Ades                                   Judah Touro didn’t want to be famous

Aroeste                           Buen shabat, shabbat shalom

Auxier                              Sweep: the story of a girl and her monster

Bari                                   Does your dog speak Hebrew? A book of animal sounds

Blumenthal                   Parrots, pugs and pixie dust: a book about fashion designer Judith Lieber

Churnin                           Martin and Anne: the kindred spirits of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Anne Frank

Goldberg                        Room for rent

Gottesfeld                     No stripe behind: Beate Sirota Gordon’s battle for women’s rights in Japan

Grubman                       Oy Vey! Life in a shoe

Hoffman                        The brave cyclist: the true story of a Holocaust hero

Kacer                              The brave princess and me: inspired by a true story

Kiffel-Alcheh              A hoopoe says “oop!” animals of Israel

Kusel                               The Passover Guest

Levine                             A ceiling made of eggshells

Levy                                 The key from Spain: Flory Jagoda and her music

Lunge-Larsen             Noah’s mittens: the story of felt

MacLeod                       Yossi and the monkeys: a Shavuot story

Malaspina                     A Scarf for Keiko

Nadler                            Such a library! A Yiddish folktale reimagined

Newman                        Itzhak: a boy who loved the violin

Ofanansky                    New month, new moon

Palacio                            White bird: a wonder story

Polacco                           Thundercake

Rockliff                           Doctor Esperanto and the language of hope

Rubin                               The flag with fifty-six stars: a gift from the survivors of Mauthausen

Schneider                      Snow for everyone!

Sis                                      Nicky & Vera: a quiet hero of the Holocaust and the children he rescued

Snyder                            Nosh, schlep, schluff: baby Yiddish

Woodruff                     The memory coat

Zalben                            A Moon for Moe and Mo


While children’s books are for everyone-some of the best writing is by authors of books for young readers- of interest to adults might be the new Great Jewish Book Club sponsored by My Jewish Learning. Each monthly session will focus on a classic Jewish novel  beginning with The Bread Givers by Anzia Yezerkia . To register follow the link below

Fri, December 8 2023 25 Kislev 5784