Adaption of classic Yiddish tale top winner of Sydney Taylor awards

Marcy Oster

BOSTON (JTA) — A new adaption of a classic Yiddish tale and folk song is among the top winners of this year’s Sydney Taylor children’s book awards presented annually by the Association of Jewish Libraries.

The awards also went to a graphic novel and a retelling of the Noah story for teens, the Association of Jewish Libraries said in a statement.

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“My Grandfather’s Coat,” by Jim Aylesworth, illustrated by Barbara McClintock, that took the coveted prize in the younger readers category, features a young girl who narrates the life of her immigrant tailor grandfather, all in rhyming verse, adapted from a traditional Yiddish song. As his handmade coat becomes worn out, it picks up a new life as a jacket, a vest, a tie and later, a toy for a grandchild.

“Hidden: A Child’s Story of the Holocaust, by Loic Dauvillier, Marc Lizano and Greg Salsedo, which won in the older reader category, is a graphic-style novel with colorful cartoon-like illustrations that reveals a grandmother’s story of how she and her mother were kept alive through the Holocaust with the help of several courageous neighbors and families.

The novel, “Storm,” by Donna Jo Napoli, that won in the teen category, introduces a teenage girl who stows away on Noah’s ark, giving a close up, behind-the-scenes look at Noah, his family and the animals they cared for in close quarters.

In addition, six honor books and sixteen notable books were awarded. The awards, to be presented by the Jewish Library Association in June, are named in honor of Sydney Taylor, author of the classic “All of A Kind Series,” the tales of an immigrant Jewish American family originally published in the 1950s. The sequels to the original story recently were reissued by Lizzie Skurnick Books.