Celebrate Jewish Culture with Spring Children's Books from Kalaniot Books {Book Review}

**Books received for consideration. All thoughts are my own. 




Not So Fast, Max: A Rosh Hashanah Visit With Grandma


When Max and Emily’s spunky Savta comes from Israel for a Rosh Hashanah visit, she’s got some surprises up her sleeve. Max just wants to hurry up and get started, but he learns that sometimes new traditions can be worth the wait. You can start your own Rosh Hashanah traditions using the delicious recipes included in the book.


Soosie: The Horse That Saved Shabbat


Every Shabbat, Jacob and Soosie the horse set out to deliver Ezra and Esther’s delicious challahs to their Jerusalem neighbors.

But what happens when Jacob is sick? Will everyone get their challah in time for Shabbat?

This heart warming story highlights the friendship between a boy and a horse.

Charming illustrations capture early twentieth century Jerusalem and its diverse residents from all over the Middle East and Europe.



Sarah's Solo


Sarah is disappointed when she must miss dancing her solo at the upcoming ballet recital to go to her cousin's wedding. But as she explores some of the Jewish customs at the wedding, she begins to realize how much her own culture's traditions have to offer. Although not the delicate melodies of classical music and elegant movements of ballet, the hypnotic rhythms of the klezmer band and the energetic steps of the hora still transport her - and the reader - to another world.


Annette Schottenfeld is the author of Obi’s Mud Bath. A registered dietitian and expert baker, she would take her children apple picking each fall and create delicious apple recipes. Annette lives in New York with her husband and two grown kids. 

Jennifer Kirkham is a freelance illustrator from the North East of England. She studied at the Glasgow School of Art and L’ENSBA, Paris and currently shares a studio with her dog, Scout and cat, Heath. 


Born in the United States, TAMI LEHMAN-WILZIG now lives in Israel. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in English Literature and an M.A. in Communications from Boston University. She is one of Israel’s leading English language copywriters. Her children’s books include Tasty Bible Stories, Keeping the Promise, Passover Around the World, Hanukkah Around the World and Zvuvi’s Israel. She lives in Kfar Saba, Israel.

Menahem Halberstadt is a children’s book illustrator and editorial cartoonist. He has published dozens of picture books for children, the most recent being the well-received A Basket Full of Figs by Ori Elon. Menahem lives in Israel with his wife and sweet children.


Tracy Brown splits her time between Charlotte, NC, and Vail, CO, with her husband, Larry. She has three children, who live scattered across the country. Tracy currently sits on the Executive Board of the Jewish Book Council. Sarah’s Solo is her debut picture book.

Paula Wegman is an illustrator and graphic designer from Buenos Aires, Argentina. She works for an advertising agency on renowned international brands, as a freelance illustrator, and on collective projects. Her organic line and bright colorful style combine to create her distinctively dynamic characters.



'Why is a Christian blog sharing books about Jewish culture?'

Did any of you find yourself asking this question as you read about these books? I'll admit that when I was first asked about featuring these books, I wasn't quite sure myself. Sure,
I thought they sounded interesting enough, but would any of you readers (who I know are primarily Christian as well) be interested in them? 

Still, I believe that regardless of our own faith, it is good to learn about other cultures different than our own and to encourage our children to do the same. In doing so, we can encourage them that it's okay to believe differently and respect how others choose to act out their faith. That's something this world needs a lot more of right now, isn't it? Aside from that, Jesus was Jewish too, so by understanding Jewish beliefs, perhaps we can even get a better overall understanding of the cultural aspects of those in the Bible as well. 

My daughter, of course, thought nothing about any of this. She just wanted to read some new and interesting books. Her verdict? She thought they were fantastic. Prior to reading these books, we had already talked a bit about how others practice different religions, and in particular about Judaism and how it was the same and how it differed from Christianity. As such, she had some knowledge of the religion beforehand, but just the basics, not much in the way of culture and tradition. She enjoyed learning about that in this fun, kid friendly way. While the stories themselves were fun, I think she was even more excited about what she found at the end of each book: fun recipes to try and some words in Hebrew! She thought that was the coolest, and really helped to make the books not just good stories, but an experience too. Kids learn so much better with hands on, so this was a definite plus. 

If you're looking for a fun way to introduce children to various cultures--allowing them to better understand and love their neighbors who believe differently--- these books are definitely worth checking out but it's also great for Jewish families to help share these customs with their children as well. They are books that anyone can truly appreciate! 


All books will be available to purchase on March 2. You can preorder your copies now. 


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