Additional book recommendations from Barb Raznick, Director of the Brodsky Library:

For those who like picture books, there are numerous new Jewish books beyond those that are sent to the participants of the PJ Library. These all can be read to the very youngest and read by themselves by 7 and 8 year old kids. Some of my favorites that each impart important lessons in an easy and non-threatening manner include: 

  • “Room Enough for Daisy” by Debby Waldman and Rita Feutl – inspired by a Yiddish folktale, a young girl’s clever mom helps her realize that “less is more” and to choose what is most important.
  • “Lights Out Shabbat” by Sarene Shulimson – a family learns to really appreciate Shabbat when even the electricity takes a day of rest.
  • “The Apple Tree’s Discovery” by Peninnah Schram and Rachayl Eckstein Davis – famed storyteller Schram re-tells the tale of an apple tree who realizes that there is a star in everyone, even an apple. This book has some wonderful illustrations by Wendy W. Lee.
  • There never seems to be enough “chapter books” for those children who are just beginning to read. Some of my brand new favorites, each based on a familiar story include:
  • “Look for the Lorax” by Tish Rabe – for kindergarteners who are just beginning to recognize words.
  • “The Berenstain Bears at the Aquarium” by Jan and Mike Berenstain – who does not love the Berenstain Bears. Familiar characters entice eager new readers with simple sentences.
  • For 6 and 7-year-olds who are reading well enough to enjoy a simple story, I highly recommend “Pinkalicious: the Princess at Pink Slumber Party” by Victoria Kerr, “Flat Stanley at Bat” by Lori Haskins Houran and “Marley Not a Peep” by Susan Hill. Some readers may need help by parents for some of the words, but kids will be engaged by the stories of these familiar characters.

For the 8 and over crowd, I recommend:

  • “A Bundle of Trouble: a Rebecca Mystery” by Kathryn Reiss – the 8th book in the series based on Rebecca, the Jewish American Girl doll. This is a good series to acquaint young readers with historical fiction. Although this title may be a little scary for some children, as it deals with kidnapping, it is a suspenseful adventure in 1914 New York.

“Sami’s Sleepaway Summer” by Jenny Myerhoff – Sami is very apprehensive about going to camp, but finds not only an adventure, but delicious Shabbat dinners, funny new friends and many surprises. This book is a great introduction for kids who may be going away to camp for the first time.

These and many more books for children can be found at the Brodsky Library.