The Book of Life: Jewish Kidlit (Mostly)

Heidi Rabinowitz

The Book of Life

is an interview-format podcast about Jewish kidlit, mostly, with occasional coverage of Jewish YA/adult books, music, film and web,

All Episodes

SHOW NOTES: https://jewishbooks.blogspot.com/2021/11/whistle-new-gotham-city-hero.html E. Lockhart joins us to talk about her graphic novel Whistle: A New Gotham City Hero, featuring a Jewish teen superhero with enhanced canine superpowers and a Great Dane sidekick named Lebowitz. This episode is sponsored by Every Child a Reader in association with the Children's Book Council, in honor of Children's Book Week, November 8-14, 2021. Your feedback is welcome! Please write to bookoflifepodcast@gmail.com or leave a voicemail at 561-206-2473.

Nov 1

27 min 23 sec

SHOW NOTES: https://jewishbooks.blogspot.com/2021/09/the-way-back.html The Way Back is a strange and wonderful, life-affirming story about death, an adventure in which Bluma and Yehuda Lieb set out from the shtetl on a quest into the Far Country peopled by demons. It won the National Jewish Book Award in the young adult category and was named a Sydney Taylor YA Notable Book. It's a crossover book that will appeal to adults as well as YA readers. I am pleased to bring you this interview with author Gavriel Savit.   Your feedback is welcome! Please write to bookoflifepodcast@gmail.com or leave a voicemail at 561-206-2473.

Sep 25

39 min 21 sec

Visit https://jewishbooks.blogspot.com/2021/09/little-free-libraries.html for full show notes. Or look for episode "Little Free Libraries" posted September 1, 2021 at BookofLifePodcast.com. Little Free Library is a nonprofit organization that inspires a love of reading, builds community, and sparks creativity by fostering neighborhood book exchanges. Here's an interview with Margret Aldrich, Director of Communications at the Little Free Library organization. We'll find out how this phenomenon got started, and we'll learn about how Jewish books are being included in their Read In Color program.  And as someone who receives a LOT of Jewish book donations, many of which duplicate titles I already have, I can tell you from personal experience that Little Free Libraries are a wonderful way to get those books off my own shelf and share them with the world. Your feedback is welcome! Please write to bookoflifepodcast@gmail.com or leave a voicemail at 561-206-2473.

Sep 1

24 min 32 sec

Visit https://jewishbooks.blogspot.com/2021/08/zoe-rosenthal-is-not-lawful-good.html for full show notes. Or see episode "Zoe Rosenthal Is Not Lawful Good" posted August 9, 2021 at BookofLifePodcast.com. Zoe Rosenthal Is Not Lawful Good by Nancy Werlin is a coming of age story with a Jewish protagonist, about the power of fandom, friendship, and finding your inner nerd. Speaking of fandom, be sure to check out my guest spot on the August episode of the podcast Star Trek and the Jews at https://startrekandthejews.podbean.com/e/dont-call-it-a-midrash-captain-david-gold-part-i/ Your feedback is welcome! Please write to bookoflifepodcast@gmail.com or leave a voicemail at 561-206-2473.

Aug 9

31 min 46 sec

Visit https://jewishbooks.blogspot.com/2021/07/family-stories-podcast-live-show.html for full show notes. Or look for episode "Family Stories: A Podcast Live Show" posted July 5, 2021 at BookofLifePodcast.com. Esther Safran Foer and Sadie Foer joined me in May 2021 for a podcast Live Show sponsored by The Jewish Grandparents Network in celebration of the opening of their Family Room. Esther Safran Foer is a past CEO of Sixth & I and the author of I Want You To Know We’re Still Here, a finalist for the National Jewish Book Award. She is the daughter of Holocaust survivors, the wife of Bert Foer (an attorney and public interest advocate), the mother of three sons (bestselling authors Frank, Jonathan, and Joshua Foer), and the grandmother of six. Sadie Jean Foer is one of Esther's six grandchildren. She's a high school student and self described family historian, and the host of the podcast Rooted History. Jacqueline Jules is an author and poet who enjoys The Book of Life from Arlington, Virginia, and who is our newest Patreon patron. Shout out to Jackie! If you'd like to join her in supporting the show, please visit https://www.patreon.com/bookoflife.  Your feedback is welcome! Please write to bookoflifepodcast@gmail.com or leave a voicemail at 561-206-2473.

Jul 5

27 min 42 sec

Visit https://jewishbooks.blogspot.com/2021/06/the-new-queer-conscience.html for full show notes.  June is Pride Month, so I'm pleased to bring you The New Queer Conscience, a 2021 Sydney Taylor Notable Book in the Young Adult category. It's a manifesto by young activist Adam Eli, that holds up k'lal yisrael, or Jewish solidarity, as a model for the queer community to emulate. For queer kidlit with identifiably Jewish characters, see the Diverse Jewish Kidlit section of The Book of Life. Look for the tag LGBT. You'll find about 30 titles. If you know of any books I've missed, please drop me a line at bookoflifepodcast@gmail.com.  Speaking of solidarity, it's always a good time to push back against ongoing antisemitism. Please click on the tab labelled JUSTICE at The Book of Life to find resources that will help you do just that. Your feedback is welcome! Please write to bookoflifepodcast@gmail.com or leave a voicemail at 561-206-2473.

Jun 13

20 min 1 sec

Visit https://jewishbooks.blogspot.com/2021/05/not-your-all-american-girl.html for full show notes. Or look for "Not Your All-American Girl" posted May 9, 2021 at BookofLifePodcast.com. May is Jewish American Heritage Month and Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month. We celebrate both on The Book of Life by talking to Madelyn Rosenberg and Wendy Wan-Long Shang, co-authors of This Is Just a Test and Not Your All-American Girl, a pair of middle grade novels set in the 1980's that feature a Jewish Chinese American family. I also want to take this opportunity to welcome new Patreon patron Erica Lyons, a listener who lives in Hong Kong and is raising a child who is both Chinese and Jewish. If you'd like to join Erica in supporting the podcast, please visit http://patreon.com/bookoflife. Your feedback is welcome! Please write to bookoflifepodcast@gmail.com or leave a voicemail at 561-206-2473.

May 10

34 min 49 sec

Visit https://jewishbooks.blogspot.com/2021/04/through-window-brave-with-beauty.html for full show notes. Or look for "Through the Window: Brave with Beauty" posted April 18, 2021 at BookofLifePodcast.com. Ambika Sambasivan is the publisher at Yali Books, which opens a window to South Asia –India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, and the Maldives —and invites the rest of the world to learn more about the incredible diversity of this region. Maxine Rose Schur is the author of Brave with Beauty, a picture book biography of the the 15th century Queen Goharshad of Afghanistan, published by Yali Books. She's also the author of several Jewish books for children, including the 1999 Sydney Taylor Book Award winner, The Peddler's Gift. This interview with Ambika and Maxine is part of the Through the Window Diversity Exchange sponsored by The Book of Life and the Association of Jewish Libraries, in which Jewish and  non-Jewish partners meet and converse to look through the window at each other's culture. Your feedback is welcome! Please write to bookoflifepodcast@gmail.com or leave a voicemail at 561-206-2473.

Apr 18

29 min 28 sec

Visit https://jewishbooks.blogspot.com/2021/03/vaccines-then-now-polio-pioneer.html for full show notes. Or look for "Vaccines Then & Now: The Polio Pioneer" posted on March 18, 2021 at BookofLifePodcast.com.  Linda Elovitz Marshall was excited to get her COVID-19 shot, and back in the day she was glad to be vaccinated for polio too. That gratitude led her to create the picture book biography The Polio Pioneer: Dr. Jonas Salk and the Polio Vaccine illustrated by Lisa Anchin, a 2020 Sydney Taylor Notable Book.  Your feedback is welcome! Please write to bookoflifepodcast@gmail.com or leave a voicemail at 561-206-2473.

Mar 18

27 min 26 sec

Visit https://jewishbooks.blogspot.com/2021/03/the-passover-guest.html for full show notes. Or look for "The Passover Guest" posted March 7, 2021 at BookofLifePodcast.com.  My good friend Susan Kusel has been on the podcast before, to talk about The Sydney Taylor Shmooze,  and to announce the Sydney Taylor Book Award winners in 2018 and 2019. She also appeared in Beyond the Holocaust and Holidays, a 2019 episode about the Highlights Foundation's writing symposium, and in the 2020 episode The Mitzvah of Voting: Part 1.  This time she's here along with illustrator Sean Rubin to talk about their debut picture book, The Passover Guest, an AJL Holiday Highlights book. See below for the list of fine Passover picture books recently recommended by the Association of Jewish Libraries. Your feedback is welcome! Please write to bookoflifepodcast@gmail.com or leave a voicemail at 561-206-2473.

Mar 7

45 min 23 sec

Visit https://jewishbooks.blogspot.com/2021/02/ezras-big-shabbat-question.html for full show notes. Or look for "Ezra's Big Shabbat Question" posted February 16, 2021 at BookofLifePodcast.com.  Aviva Brown is the author of Ezra's BIG Shabbat Question and Not Now, Mara! These picture books portray Jewish children of color without making a big deal about it, something we don't see often enough in kidlit. Listen to Aviva as she talks about her inspiration, about self publishing, and about winning Mother of the Year Award for the state of North Carolina. Your feedback is welcome! Please write to bookoflifepodcast@gmail.com or leave a voicemail at 561-206-2473.

Feb 16

26 min 18 sec

Visit https://jewishbooks.blogspot.com/2021/01/the-2021-sydney-taylor-book-awards.html for full show notes. Or look for "The 2021 Sydney Taylor Book Awards, Revealed" posted January 25, 2021 at BookofLifePodcast.com.  Rebecca Levitan is the chair of the Sydney Taylor Book Award committee of the Association of Jewish Libraries. She joined us to discuss the 2021 winners of the award, which annually recognizes the best Jewish literature for children and teens.  The official 2021 Sydney Taylor Book Award press release and the printable list of winners, honors, and notable books can be found at https://jewishlibraries.org/ Your feedback is welcome! Please write to bookoflifepodcast@gmail.com or leave a voicemail at 561-206-2473.

Jan 25

28 min 40 sec

Visit https://jewishbooks.blogspot.com/2021/01/the-sydney-taylor-shmooze.html for full show notes, or look for the episode "The Sydney Taylor Shmooze" posted January 2, 2021 at BookofLifePodcast.com.  The Sydney Taylor Shmooze is a mock book award blog that reviews Jewish children's and teen literature and invites readers to vote for the titles that they think will win the Sydney Taylor Book Award. In the last episode of The Book of Life, I spoke with my fellow admins of The Shmooze, Susan Kusel and Chava Pinchuck, about the whys and hows of this project. We also heard some good advice from the folks at other mock award blogs: Calling Caldecott, Heavy Medal, and Guessing Geisel, but we couldn't include everything they said. Here now, is your chance to hear my full conversation with Julie Danielson of Calling Caldecott, Steven Engelfreed of Heavy Medal, and Amy Seto Forrestor of Guessing Geisel. Have a listen, and don't forget to go and vote for the mock Sydney Taylor Book Awards between January 4 and 15, 2021 at https://www.sydneytaylorshmooze.com/. Your feedback is welcome! Please write to bookoflifepodcast@gmail.com or leave a voicemail at 561-206-2473.

Jan 2

18 min 35 sec

Visit https://jewishbooks.blogspot.com/2021/01/the-sydney-taylor-shmooze.html for full show notes, or look for the episode "The Sydney Taylor Shmooze" posted January 2, 2021 at BookofLifePodcast.com.  The Sydney Taylor Shmooze is a mock award blog created in Spring 2020 by Susan Kusel, Chava Pinchuck, and me, in order to encourage discussion of Jewish children's and teen literature eligible for the Sydney Taylor Book Award. In this podcast episode, Susan and Chava join me to talk about how it's going and about how YOU can vote for the mock awards. We also get some advice from other mock award bloggers from Calling Caldecott, Guessing Geisel, and Heavy Medal. Your feedback is welcome! Please write to bookoflifepodcast@gmail.com or leave a voicemail at 561-206-2473.

Jan 2

21 min 33 sec

Visit https://jewishbooks.blogspot.com/2020/12/the-puppy-test.html for full show notes. Or look for "The Puppy Test" posted December 17, 2021 at BookofLifePodcast.com.  In December 2020, the world received a wondrous Hanukkah gift: Daveed Diggs’ “Puppy for Hanukkah” video. I see Puppy for Hanukkah as an excellent model for creating terrific Jewish children’s literature! Your feedback is welcome! Please write to bookoflifepodcast@gmail.com or leave a voicemail at 561-206-2473.

Dec 2020

10 min 13 sec

Visit https://jewishbooks.blogspot.com/2020/12/theodore-bikels-city-of-light.html for full show notes. Or look for "Theodore Bikel's City of Light" posted December 6, 2020 at BookofLifePodcast.com.  Theodor Bikel, of blessed memory, was an Austrian-American actor, folk singer, musician, composer, unionist and political activist. Journalist Aimee Ginsburg Bikel is the wife of the late Theodore Bikel, and she brought to life Theo's story, City of Light. Your feedback is welcome! Please write to bookoflifepodcast@gmail.com or leave a voicemail at 561-206-2473.

Dec 2020

52 min 58 sec

Visit https://jewishbooks.blogspot.com/2020/11/anya-and-dragon.html for full show notes, or look for "Anya and the Dragon" posted November 8, 2020 at BookofLifePodcast.com.  Anya and the Dragon is Sofiya Pasternak's debut, a middle grade Jewish historical fantasy novel. It was recognized by a 2020 Sydney Taylor Honor Award. It will be joined on November 10, 2020 by a sequel, Anya and the Nightingale. Join me for a fascinating conversation with Sofiya about the history behind the fantasy. Your feedback is welcome! Please write to bookoflifepodcast@gmail.com or leave a voicemail at 561-206-2473.

Nov 2020

28 min 10 sec

Visit https://jewishbooks.blogspot.com/2020/10/the-mitzvah-of-voting-part-3.html for full show notes, or look for "The Mitzvah of Voting, Part 3" posted October 13, 2020 at BookofLifePodcast.com. Welcome to the third and final entry in our series, The Mitzvah of Voting. It's October 2020 your favorite Jewish kidlit authors want all eligible US citizens to vote in the upcoming Presidential election, and listeners around the world to vote in their own local elections. My author guests will be sharing why they vote and they'll give you some recommendations for ways to keep democracy healthy. This time, we will leave you with some musical inspiration to carry you through Election Day. Once again, I want to remind you that, as always, the views expressed on this podcast do not necessarily represent the views of our host organization, Congregation B'nai Israel of Boca Raton, Florida. One of today's guests, Sarah Aroeste, is not only an author, she's also a singer songwriter who performs in Ladino, the Judeo-Spanish dialect that became the tongue of Spanish Jews after their expulsion from Spain in 1492. I'm excited to tell you that Sarah is sharing a full song with us today, the title song from her album Gracia. The word GRACIA means THANKS and GRACE but it's also a tribute to the medieval Sephardic heroine, Doña Gracia Nasi who lived in the 1500s and saved hundreds of Jews from the Inquisition. The main idea of the song is that activists of the past inspire us to activism in our own time. See the lyrics below.  Guest authors include: Gail Carson Levine, author of Ella Enchanted and A Ceiling Made of Eggshells Lesléa Newman, author of Gittel's Journey: An Ellis Island Story Evan Wolkenstein, author of Turtle Boy Sue Macy, author of The Book Rescuer Sarah Aroeste, author of Buen Shabat, Shabbat Shalom and singer/songwriter of Gracia Resources mentioned by guests include: The Matthew Shepard Foundation SURJ: Standing Up for Racial Justice Reclaim Our Vote Doña Gracia Nasi Read the English translation of Gracia at https://jewishbooks.blogspot.com/2020/10/the-mitzvah-of-voting-part-3.html.  Your feedback is welcome! Please write to bookoflifepodcast@gmail.com or leave a voicemail at 561-206-2473.

Oct 2020

12 min 49 sec

Visit https://jewishbooks.blogspot.com/2020/10/the-mitzvah-of-voting-part-2.html for full show notes, or look for "The Mitzvah of Voting, Part 2" at BookofLifePodcast.com.  Welcome to Part 2 of our 3 part series, The Mitzvah of Voting. It's October 2020 your favorite Jewish kidlit authors want all eligible US citizens to vote in the upcoming Presidential election, and listeners around the world to vote in their own local elections! My author guests will be sharing why they vote and they'll give you some recommendations for ways to keep democracy healthy.  Guest authors include: Elissa Brent Weissman, author of The Length of a String Lee Wind, author of Queer as a $5 Bill and No Way, They Were Gay? Barbara Bietz, author of Sweet Tamales for Purim Jane Breskin Zalben, author of A Moon for Moe and Mo Jacqueline Jules, author of The Generous Fish, Never Say a Mean Word Again, The Hardest Word Anne-Marie Asner, author of the Matzah Ball Books series Suggestions from guests in this episode: Become a poll worker Add your Representative and Senators to your cell phone and call regularly on issues you care about Confirm your voter registration at Vote.org Your feedback is welcome! Please write to bookoflifepodcast@gmail.com or leave a voicemail at 561-206-2473.

Oct 2020

13 min 8 sec

Visit https://jewishbooks.blogspot.com/2020/10/the-mitzvah-of-voting-part-1.html for full show notes, or look for "The Mitzvah of Voting, Part 1" at BookofLifePodcast.com.  This episode is a call to action for U.S. citizens eligible to vote, and a reminder to listeners everywhere that voting is your superpower. If you are a U.S. citizen eligible to vote in the upcoming presidential election, please do so! For information about how to vote, visit https://www.vote.org/. In this special 3-part series, some of your favorite Jewish kidlit authors will be sharing why they vote and they'll give some recommendations for ways to keep our democracy healthy.  In each episode of The Book of Life, I ask guests to suggest a tikkun olam action, a way to help repair the world. This special series is MY tikkun olam action. Please help me inspire more people to vote by sharing this podcast as widely as you can, today. By the way, you should always assume that the opinions expressed on The Book of Life podcast are not necessarily those of our host organization, Congregation B'nai Israel of Boca Raton, Florida, but because this episode is more political than most, I'll just remind you of that fact right now. Guest authors include: Marjorie Ingall, author of Mamaleh Knows Best Linda Epstein, author of Repairing the World Jeff Gottesfeld, author of No Steps Behind Leslie Kimmelman, author of The Eight Knights of Hanukkah Susan Kusel, author of The Passover Guest Tziporah Cohen, author of No Vacancy Visit https://jewishbooks.blogspot.com/2020/10/the-mitzvah-of-voting-part-1.html to get links to the resources named during this episode. Your feedback is appreciated! Please write to bookoflifepodcast@gmail.com or call our voicemail number at 561-206-2473.

Oct 2020

11 min 47 sec

Visit https://jewishbooks.blogspot.com/2020/10/pond-life-fish-out-of-water-turtle-boy.html for full show notes or look for "Pond Life - FISH Out of Water & TURTLE Boy" posted October 11, 2020 at BookofLifePodcast.com.  For this "Pond Life" episode, I paired the books Turtle Boy with Fish Out of Water, to highlight the similar themes I saw in both middle grade bar mitzvah novels. Wonderfully, authors Joanne Levy and Evan Wolkenstein really hit it off and they actually helped to interview each other!  Your feedback is welcome! Please write to bookoflifepodcast@gmail.com or leave a voicemail at 561-206-2473.

Oct 2020

1 hr 2 min

Honey on the Page: A Treasury of Yiddish Children's Literature, edited and translated by Miriam Udel, comes out from NYU Press on October 6, 2020. We didn't have the chance to do an audio interview but I did want you to know about this worthy book, so I interviewed Miriam by email. I hope you will enjoy reading all about Honey on the Page at https://jewishbooks.blogspot.com/2020/10/honey-on-page.html.

Oct 2020

57 sec

Visit https://jewishbooks.blogspot.com/2020/09/a-place-at-table.html for full show notes, or look for "A Place at the Table" posted September 6, 2020 at BookofLifePodcast.com.  Muslim author Saadia Faruqui and Jewish author Laura Shovan joined me to talk about their jointly written middle grade contemporary novel, A Place at the Table. This is a book about immigration, about friendship, and it will make you hungry. Your feedback is appreciated! Please write to bookoflifepodcast@gmail.com or call our voicemail number at 561-206-2473. 

Sep 2020

37 min 49 sec

Visit https://jewishbooks.blogspot.com/2020/08/video-episode-artist-patricia-portillo.html for full show notes, or look for "Video Episode: Artist Patricia Portillo" posted August 25, 2020 at BookofLifePodcast.com.  Multi-talented mensch Patricia Portillo is an artist who works with fiber, clay, and other materials. She is also a voice artist and professional opera singer, and she dabbles in the culinary arts. She rendered The Book of Life's dancing man logo as a crocheted doll so we are interviewing her to learn more about her crafting abilities. Today's episode is available as a video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GJrTjZeQFNY&feature=youtu.be Your feedback is appreciated! Please write to bookoflifepodcast@gmail.com or call our voicemail number at 561-206-2473. 

Aug 2020

40 min 11 sec

Visit https://jewishbooks.blogspot.com/2020/08/no-vacancy.html for full show notes, or look for "No Vacancy" posted August 9, 2020 at BookofLifePodcast.com.  No Vacancy is Tziporah Cohen's debut middle grade novel. It's a story of friendship across boundaries, the importance of community as a bulwark against prejudice... and a Virgin Mary sighting. Your feedback is appreciated! Please write to bookoflifepodcast@gmail.com or call our voicemail number at 561-206-2473. 

Aug 2020

23 min 51 sec

Visit https://jewishbooks.blogspot.com/2020/07/the-bubbes-and-zaides.html for full show notes, or look for "The Bubbes and the Zaides" posted July 19, 2020 at BookofLifePodcast.com.  We hear from David Raphael, co-founder of the Jewish Grandparents Network, and we enjoy the audiobook Bubbe & Zaide, written and voiced by Anne-Marie Asner along with the famous actor Ed Asner as Zaide. For links to more resources, including our guests' Boosting Black Voices reading recommendations, visit https://bookoflifepodcast.com. Your feedback is appreciated! Please write to bookoflifepodcast@gmail.com or call our voicemail number at 561-206-2473.

Jul 2020

23 min 41 sec

Please visit https://jewishbooks.blogspot.com/2020/06/through-window-lee-wind.html for extensive show notes with lots of great links, or look for "Through the Window: Lee Wind" posted June 28, 2020 at BookofLifePodcast.com.  Lee Wind is the author of Queer as a Five-Dollar Bill and blogs at I'm Here, I'm Queer, What the Hell Do I Read? He is Heidi's partner in the Through the Window diversity exchange program sponsored by the Association of Jewish Libraries. Your feedback is appreciated! Please write to bookoflifepodcast@gmail.com or call our voicemail number at 561-206-2473.

Jun 2020

58 min 55 sec

Visit https://jewishbooks.blogspot.com/2020/05/a-ceiling-made-of-eggshells.html for full show notes, or look for "A Ceiling Made of Eggshells" posted May 17, 2020 at BookofLifePodcast.com.  Gail Carson Levine is the author of more than 20 book for young readers and adult writers, including the Newbery Honor book Ella Enchanted, which was made into a major motion picture. Her new middle grade book A Ceiling Made of Eggshells is a historical novel about a Jewish family during the Spanish Inquisition, based on Gail's own family history. Your feedback is appreciated! Please write to bookoflifepodcast@gmail.com or call our voicemail number at 561-206-2473.

May 2020

26 min 13 sec

Visit https://jewishbooks.blogspot.com/2020/04/parenting-on-prayer-books-in-time-of.html for full show notes.  Author Amy Grossblatt Pessah discusses her guide Parenting on a Prayer: Ancient Jewish Secrets for Raising Modern Children on the "Books in the Time of Coronavirus" series on The Book of Life. Your feedback is appreciated! Please write to bookoflifepodcast@gmail.com or call our voicemail number at 561-206-2473.

Apr 2020

12 min 37 sec

Visit https://jewishbooks.blogspot.com/2020/04/gluskin-family-history-strategies-and.html for full show notes.  David B. Levy shares his family genealogical work Gluskin Family History, published through Lulu on "Books in the Time of Coronavirus," a special series from The Book of Life. This is volume 7 in his series of ten books on librarianship and Jewish topics. Your feedback is appreciated! Please write to bookoflifepodcast@gmail.com or call our voicemail number at 561-206-2473.

Apr 2020

22 min 47 sec

Visit https://jewishbooks.blogspot.com/2020/04/beyond-ghetto-gates-books-in-time-of.html for full show notes.  Michelle Cameron shares her adult historical novel, Beyond the Ghetto Gates, published by She Writes Press on the Books in the Time of Coronavirus special series on The Book of Life Podcast. Your feedback is appreciated! Please write to bookoflifepodcast@gmail.com or call our voicemail number at 561-206-2473. 

Apr 2020

6 min 17 sec

Visit https://jewishbooks.blogspot.com/2020/04/all-horrors-of-war-books-in-time-of.html for full show notes. Bernice Lerner shares her family history, All the Horrors of War: A Jewish Girl, A British Doctor, and the Liberation of Bergen-Belsen, published by Johns Hopkins University Press on "Books in the Time of Coronavirus" special series on The Book of Life, www.bookoflifepodcast.com. Plus a shout-out to Dianne Siekmann for becoming a Book of Life supporter on https://www.patreon.com/bookoflife.  Your feedback is appreciated! Please write to bookoflifepodcast@gmail.com or call our voicemail number at 561-206-2473.

Apr 2020

7 min 43 sec

Visit https://jewishbooks.blogspot.com/2020/04/birthright-books-in-time-of-coronavirus.html for full show notes.  Erika Dreifus shares her poetry collection Birthright, published by Kelsay Books on the Books in the Time of Coronavirus special series from The Book of Life. Your feedback is appreciated! Please write to bookoflifepodcast@gmail.com or call our voicemail number at 561-206-2473. 

Apr 2020

6 min

Visit https://jewishbooks.blogspot.com/2020/04/hebrew-roots-jewish-routes-books-in.html for full show notes.  Jeremy Benstein shares his nonfiction adult book Hebrew Roots, Jewish Routes: A Tribal Language in a Global World, published by Behrman House, on the Books in the Time of Coronavirus special series from The Book of Life. Your feedback is appreciated! Please write to bookoflifepodcast@gmail.com or call our voicemail number at 561-206-2473. 

Apr 2020

10 min 26 sec

Visit https://jewishbooks.blogspot.com/2020/04/you-are-not-what-we-expected-books-in.html for full show notes. Sidura Ludwig shares her adult short story collection, You Are Not What We Expected, from House of Anansi Press on the Books in the Time of Coronavirus special series on The Book of Life. Your feedback is appreciated! Please write to bookoflifepodcast@gmail.com or call our voicemail number at 561-206-2473. 

Apr 2020

13 min 3 sec

Visit https://jewishbooks.blogspot.com/2020/04/welcoming-elijah-books-in-time-of.html for full show notes. Lesléa Newman shares her picture book Welcoming Elijah: A Passover Tale with a Tail from Charlesbridge on the "Books in the Time of Coronavirus" special series on The Book of Life Podcast. Your feedback is appreciated! Please write to bookoflifepodcast@gmail.com or call our voicemail number at 561-206-2473. 

Apr 2020

4 min 28 sec

Visit https://jewishbooks.blogspot.com/2020/03/worse-and-worse-on-noahs-ark-books-in.html for full show notes.  Leslie Kimmelman shares her picture book Worse and Worse on Noah's Ark from Apples & Honey Press on the "Books in the Time of Coronavirus" special series on The Book of Life. Your feedback is appreciated! Please write to bookoflifepodcast@gmail.com or call our voicemail number at 561-206-2473. 

Mar 2020

6 min 46 sec

Visit https://jewishbooks.blogspot.com/2020/03/no-entry-books-in-time-of-coronavirus.html for full show notes.  The first episode in this special series features Gila Green, author of No Entry, a novel for youth about elephant poaching in South Africa, starring a Jewish eco-heroine, on "Books in the Time of Coronavirus"  is a special series on The Book of Life. Your feedback is appreciated! Please write to bookoflifepodcast@gmail.com or call our voicemail number at 561-206-2473. 

Mar 2020

7 min 42 sec

Visit https://jewishbooks.blogspot.com/2020/03/family-meeting.html for full show notes. This Book of Life "Family Meeting" will fill you in on lots of information about the show that you may have been missing, as well as other Jewish kidlit-related projects that host Heidi wants you to know about. Be sure to follow all the links at https://bookoflifepodcast.com to get the full details.  Your feedback is appreciated! Please write to bookoflifepodcast@gmail.com or call our voicemail number at 561-206-2473. 

Mar 2020

11 min 21 sec

Visit https://jewishbooks.blogspot.com/2020/02/no-steps-behind.html for full show notes. No Steps Behind: Beate Sirota Gordon's Battle for Women's Rights in Japan by Jeff Gottesfeld, illustrated by Shiella Witanto, is a picture book biography about a Russian-Austrian-Jewish woman who grew up in Japan and became an architect of the country's post-WWII constitution, enshrining it with more women's rights than are in the US constitution. The author shares with us this fascinating slice of history. Your feedback is appreciated! Please write to bookoflifepodcast@gmail.com or call our voicemail number at 561-206-2473. 

Feb 2020

27 min 47 sec

Visit https://jewishbooks.blogspot.com/2020/01/the-2020-sydney-taylor-book-awards.html for extensive show notes. The Sydney Taylor Book Award recognizes the best in Jewish children's and teen literature each year. I spoke with committee chair Rebecca Levitan to learn about the 2020 winners.  Your feedback is appreciated! Please write to bookoflifepodcast@gmail.com or call our voicemail number at 561-206-2473. 

Jan 2020

20 min

SHOW NOTES: https://jewishbooks.blogspot.com/2020/01/a-bisl-yiddish-bikher-fur-kinder.html   This virtual panel on Yiddish-related kidlit includes Sue Macy, author of The Book Rescuer, Debbie Levy, author of Yiddish Saves the Day, and Valerie Estelle Frankel, author of Chelm for the Holidays. Your feedback is appreciated! Please write to bookoflifepodcast@gmail.com or call our voicemail number at 561-206-2473

Jan 2020

30 min 19 sec

SHOW NOTES: https://jewishbooks.blogspot.com/2019/12/world-premiere-hanukkah-with-noshy-boy.html   ANNOUNCING: The World Premiere of the audiobook version of Hanukkah with Noshy Boy & Friends by Anne-Marie Asner, voiced by Anne-Marie Asner and Ed Asner (yes, that Ed Asner!), on The Book of Life Podcast! Plus, we've got an interview with Anne-Marie about the story's creation. Noshy Boy, Schmutzy Girl, Kvetchy Boy, and their other friends are characters in a series from Matzah Ball Books, which shares Yiddish terminology and culture with young children through humor. Your feedback is appreciated! Please write to bookoflifepodcast@gmail.com or call our voicemail number at 561-206-2473. 

Dec 2019

22 min 5 sec

SHOW NOTES: https://jewishbooks.blogspot.com/2019/12/a-field-guide-to-jewish-kidlit.html   On The Book of Life, we talk a lot about Jewish kidlit. But where do you go to find Jewish children's books? In this episode, Marjorie Ingall joins me to talk about how to discover and how to access the best Jewish kidlit. Marjorie is a columnist at Tablet Magazine and is well-known for her year-end "best of Jewish kidlit" lists, and she's the author of Mamaleh Knows Best: What Jewish Mothers Do to Raise Successful, Creative, Empathetic, Independent Children, which was featured on The Book of Life in April 2017. Visit www.bookoflifepodcast.com for the looong list of links to the resources and titles mentioned in this episode. Your feedback is appreciated! Please write to bookoflifepodcast@gmail.com or call our voicemail number at 561-206-2473. 

Dec 2019

38 min 59 sec

SHOW NOTES: https://jewishbooks.blogspot.com/2019/11/the-100-most-jewish-foods.html   The 100 Most Jewish Foods, a Highly Debatable List, started as a fun interactive feature on the website of Tablet Magazine, and then grew up to be a book. We've got an interview for you with the book's editor, Alana Newhouse, by The Book of Life's Canadian Correspondent, Anne Dublin. B'tay avon...good appetite! Your feedback is appreciated! Please write to bookoflifepodcast@gmail.com or call our voicemail number at 561-206-2473. 

Nov 2019

18 min 7 sec

SHOW NOTES: https://jewishbooks.blogspot.com/2019/11/honeycake-magazine.html   Honeycake Magazine is a new Jewish magazine for kids ages 2 to 6. Creator Anna Caplan guest posted on The Book of Life about the magazine in May 2019. Now here's our podcast interview, in which I spoke to Anna about her inspiration for Honeycake and her plans for its future. Your feedback is appreciated! Please write to bookoflifepodcast@gmail.com or call our voicemail number at 561-206-2473. 

Nov 2019

30 min 55 sec

SHOW NOTES:  https://jewishbooks.blogspot.com/2019/10/nancy-churnin-biography-queen.html   We are in a golden age of picture book biographies, and one prolific biographer is Nancy Churnin. She's got half a dozen bios out and more on the way, and each one is inspiring in its own way. Nancy attended the 2019 Association of Jewish Libraries conference to take part in the author luncheon, where she represented her Jewish interest books, Irving Berlin: The Immigrant Boy Who Made America Sing, and Martin & Anne: The Kindred Spirits of Dr Martin Luther King Jr and Anne Frank. I was happy to snag this live interview with her during the conference. Be sure to explore https://www.nancychurnin.com/ for the teacher guides and projects she describes in our interview, as well as her blog The Kids Are All Write,  https://www.nancychurnin.com/thekidsareallwrite.  When asked for Tikkun Olam recommendations, Nancy suggested supporting Room to Read, https://www.roomtoread.org/ a nonprofit that seeks to transform the lives of millions of children in low-income communities by focusing on literacy and gender equality in education. Your feedback is appreciated! Please write to bookoflifepodcast@gmail.com or call our voicemail number at 561-206-2473.   

Oct 2019

35 min 15 sec

SHOW NOTES: https://jewishbooks.blogspot.com/2019/09/bonus-episode-superfight.html   In May 2019 I posted an interview with Jonathan Auxier, the author of Sweep: The Story of a Girl and Her Monster. In our interview we talked about the book, of course, but we also talked about our favorite board games. I met Jonathan at the 2019 Association of Jewish Libraries conference where he'd come to accept his Sydney Taylor Book Award, and we got to play one of those games together along with a roomful of other authors, illustrators, and librarians. Here's your chance to listen in as we play a round of Superfight: A Game of Absurd Arguments. First we'll hear the description of the game from Jonathan's May 2019 appearance on The Book of Life podcast. Then we'll hear a clip of me versus Jonathan Auxier in actual gameplay. Just so you know, the game was ultimately won by illustrator Paul O. Zelinsky, who was at the conference to receive the Sydney Taylor Book Award for All-of-a-Kind Family Hanukkah. His Superfight character was Gal Gadot (because he drew the card letting him pick a favorite actor), who was unaffected by impact, but who had no depth perception. He won a badminton challenge against a tween werewolf with jellyfish instead of hands. That's Superfight for you! Your feedback is appreciated! Please write to bookoflifepodcast@gmail.com or call our voicemail number at 561-206-2473. 

Sep 2019

8 min 18 sec

SHOW NOTES: https://jewishbooks.blogspot.com/2019/09/the-book-of-life-live-show.html   At the 2019 Association of Jewish Libraries conference in Los Angeles, California, we recorded a Book of Life live show. My guests were Joni Sussman of KarBen Publishing, and author/illustrator/musician Barney Saltzberg. We discussed picture book illustration while recording our conversation in front of a live audience of Judaica librarians. Your feedback is appreciated! Please write to bookoflifepodcast@gmail.com or call our voicemail number at 561-206-2473. 

Sep 2019

48 min 27 sec

SHOW NOTES: https://jewishbooks.blogspot.com/2019/08/sister-religionsister-kidlit.html   Sadaf Siddique and Gauri Manglick are the co-creators of Kitaab World, a website that promotes South Asian children's books. Within their website, they created a campaign called Counter Islamophobia Through Stories, (similar to the Love Your Neighbor campaign that I worked on to help bring Jewish books to ALL readers), and they even turned their campaign into a book called Muslims in Story.  Your feedback is appreciated! Please write to bookoflifepodcast@gmail.com or call our voicemail number at 561-206-2473. 

Aug 2019

28 min 33 sec