Books

Seven Stories Up
#4 on the Winter 2013/2014 Indie Next Kids’ List!

“Time travel is the least of the magic in the sublime Seven Stories Up, which gently and lovingly demonstrates how the right friend at the right time can heal a heart and even change a life. Like Judy Blume before her, Laurel Snyder writes characters that feel like your best friend. I wish I’d had this book when I was a kid; I would have read it a hundred times and slept with it under my pillow.” –Anne Ursu, author of The Real Boy

“Friendship, connection, and understanding are at the heart of this warm, introspective story about the events that shape a person.” Publishers Weekly

 

The Longest Night

Sydney Taylor Medal!
A Bank Street  College of Education Best Book of the Year!
STARRED Review from Publisher’s Weekly!
Tablet’s Best Jewish Children’s Books!
Bulletin of the Center  for Children’s Books Guide to Gift Books!
Cooperative Children’s Book Center Choice!

“… a captivating Passover story by Laurel Snyder (“Bigger Than a Breadbox,” “Penny Dreadful”)… centers on the themes of just rewards and just deserts. In poetic couplets, a Jewish girl narrates her experience in ancient Egypt. “In the heat and blowing sand,/Each gray dawn my work began.” A wistful, dreamy child, she’d like to fly away like a dove or be visited by the moon.”   (New York Times)

Working as hard as any adult slave, this young girl expresses her bewilderment and fear as leaping frogs and itching, biting fleas disturb the masters. Fatal illness creeps in, affecting beast and man except in the Jewish homes marked with lamb’s blood. Rhyming verse carries the Passover story with a lyrical flair. “Made our way to sifting sands, / Scrambling feet, but clasping hands. / Thirsting, thrilling, full of fright— / None of us were slaves that night.” Ominously dark and murky paintings done in acrylic portray the frightened, fleeing throng finally reaching a wild, thrashing sea that is “ripped in two!”  Confusion and trepidation turn to joyful surprise, as indicated by the rose-colored backdrop behind a smiling daughter and mother, thrilled to have crossed over to the open land and freedom. This poetic, child-oriented interpretation brings a dramatic insight and illumination to the ancient legend.  A vivid and compelling introduction to the 10 plagues portion of the Seder ceremony. (author’s note, glossary) (Kirkus)

 

Good night, laila tov

“A wholesome and gentle story that’s pleasant and soothing for little ones of all faiths, though it will have extra resonance in Jewish households.” (Kirkus)

Bigger than a Bread Box

An ABC Best Books pick
A Bank Street Best Book for 2012
2012 SIBA Award Finalist
Great Stone Face Book Award Nominee (Children’s Librarians of New Hampshire)
Oregon Battle of the Books Nominee
Sunshine State Young Readers Award Nominee


“Everything felt wrong, lopsided. I knew from the weird fuzzy humming inside my head,” thinks 12-year-old Rebecca Shapiro as her family ruptures before her eyes. Rebecca’s father has been out of work, and her mother is fed up; after a big fight with her husband, she packs up the children and drives from Baltimore to Atlanta to visit Rebecca and Lew’s grandmother. When Rebecca discovers this isn’t just a quick visit (her mother has a temp job for herself lined up and a new school picked out for Rebecca), she’s furious. One day while exploring her grandmother’s attic, Rebecca finds a magic breadbox that will grant any wish that fits inside it: a cookie, money, pens, lip-gloss, candy, or a diamond. But Rebecca comes to understand that the box won’t solve her problems (conversely, it creates some enormous ones); she has to do that on her own. Introspective and rich with delicate imagery, this coming-of-age tale shares themes with Snyder’s Penny Dreadful (2010). The insightful, memorable, and complex characters that Snyder creates result in a story with the same qualities. (Publishers Weekly)

“…about as miraculous an insight about divorce as anyone could hope to have.”  (New York Times)

NOSH, SCHLEP, SCHLUFF

Learning—and using—Yiddish is fun for the whole family, from the youngest mamaleh to the oldest bubbe and zaideh. Introduced to America as the mother tongue of millions of Jewish immigrants, Yiddish has made its way into everyday English. The sprightly, rhyming text follows a toddler through a busy day and is peppered from beginning to end with Yiddish words. Oy!—will everybody kvell when they hear their little ones spouting words from this most expressive of languages. Here are just a few that are included in this sturdy board book: bissel—little bit; ess—eat; kibitz—joke around, chat; klutz—clumsy one; kvell—burst with pride, gush; kvetchy—dissatisfied, whiny.

 

Penny Dreadful

E.B. White Read-aloud Honor Book
STARRED REVIEW from Booklist
An Indienext Pick for Winter 2010
Smithsonian Notable Book for 2010
Maine Student Book Award Title
Sunshine State Young Readers Award Nominee
Bank Street CHild Study Children’s Book Award Nominee
Represented the state of Tennessee at the Nation Book Festival’s Pavilion of the States

Not dreadful at all, this very pleasant book introduces rich, lonely ten-year-old Penelope Gray, who lives in a tightly controlled and boring world. In desperation, she makes a wish for a less boring life—not knowing that wishes can come true. When her father quits his job, her desires become real, but not quite in the way she expected. This engaging twist on the “rags to riches” story follows Penelope’s family from their house in the city to an inherited home in a small town. Having changed her name to Penny, she comes to love the new house and its surrounding cottages, which are filled with a lovable and highly individualistic cast…  (Kirkus)

Penny Dreadful

Baxter, the Pig Who Wanted to Be Kosher

STARRED REVIEW from Publisher’s Weekly
A Sydney Taylor Notable Book
PJ Library Selection

“Snyder (Inside the Slidy Diner) and Goldin (Go-Go-Go!) go together like matzo balls and chicken soup: the bright, daffy prose and ebulliently goofy cartoon and photo collages will persuade readers that they don’t have to be Jewish to enjoy Baxter’s spiritual journey”  (Publisher’s Weekly)

Baxter, the Pig Who Wanted to Be Kosher

Any Which Wall

Any Which WallA Junior Library Guild Selection!

A FL Dept of Education Literacy League Book Club Selection!

Young Hoosier Book Award Nominee (Indiana School Library Educators)

Mark Twain Award Nominee

One of  GA Center for the Book’s “25 Books All Young Georgians Should Read!”

“… the fast-paced plot and glib narrator– fond of making asides– will keep readers turning pages and looking for magic in their own corners of the world.” (Kirkus)

When Susan, Roy, Henry, and Emma find a mysterious wall in the middle of an Iowa cornfield, they have absolutely no idea of the adventure that awaits them. This tribute to Edward Eager follows four kids on a magical summer journey that includes pirates, wizards, dastardly villains, and just bout everything else that Common Magic can summon up. With amazing art by LeUyen Pham

Up and Down the Scratchy Mountains

Up and Down the Scratchy MountainsSmithsonian Notable Book for 2008
Garden State Book Award! (New Jersey Library Association)
Bookreporter Staff Pick

Until recently, Lucy (a milkmaid), and her best friend Wynston (who happens to be a prince, though that’s not really his fault) spent their days together, romping through berry patches, and teasing each other mercilessly. But now Wynston is getting older, and King Desmond insists he devote every second to the overly-complicated process of princess-finding, which is known in the Bewilderness as QUEENING.. Her feelings hurt, Lucy (by law an unsuitable match for the prince) sets out to find her long-lost mother, on the Scratchy Mountains, accompanied only by a sniffly prairie dog and an obstinate young milk cow. Together they learn about friendship, and how to bend, not break, the rules…

 

Inside the Slidy Diner

Inside the Slidy DinerStep inside the Slidy Diner and meet Edie, the awful Ethelmae, the man who smells like mice, and all the other creeps at the counter. Just be sure you watch out for all the wigglepedes, and whatever you do, don’t eat the ladyfingers–they really are! With really incredible art by Jaime Zollars.

 

The Myth of the Simple Machines

Myth of the Simple MachinesThe gorgeous simplicity of Laurel Snyder’s language makes all the possibilities–and the impossibility–of living stand out starkly…A startling and touching book. — Cole Swensen

 

Half/Life – Jewish Tales from Interfaith Homes

Half/Life: Jew-ish tales from Interfaith HomesEngaging, funny and provocative…Half-Jews will see themselves and their families…and they will laugh, and maybe even cry, while reading. — Publishers Weekly

 

Daphne and Jim

Daphne & Jim: a choose-your-own-adventure biography in verseA choose-your-own-adventure biography in verse

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It is always best to buy your books from the sweet little (or big) old (or young) lady (or man) at your favorite locally owned independent bookstore. Where you might also find a nice cup of mint tea, or a cat.

However, it’s possible that you live in a place where there is no such shop. If this is the case, you have my deepest sympathies.

And may I suggest that you contact MY favorite locally owned independent bookstore‘Ask for Terra.’ She’s the bee’s knees.

Of course, if neither of these options tickles your fancy, there are many ways to skin a cat (though not the one from the indie bookstore, for gosh sakes) Including Indiebound!  Powells! And yes, indeed, there’s always Amazon.