Ronit Haham writes stories, poems, and plays, especially for children. According to the DafDaf website, Haham especially likes to write about witches because they can go wild and do all sorts of things that humans can't do.
Whenever I think of Ronit Haham, I always think of her book חמישה מכשפותהלכו לטייל / Five Witches Went for a Walk. Five happy and colorful witches went for a walk to town. They had a great time scaring the people all around them. As they were walking, they kept leaving a witch behind until there was only one witch left.The last witch was lonely so she pulled a broomstick out of her hair and started looking for her friends. Ages 4-6.
ויקי בום / Vicki Boom is a little girl who is sitting under a fig tree eating cheese pancakes.A rose asks when the party start. Then the rose realizes her mistake and says there is no party. But something is up! Two chickens come by with a cake and candles and then three grasshoppers come by with giant violins. So what is going on? Read the book to find out! Each picture is a lovely, two-page spread. Ages 3-4.
I mentioned one of Ami Rubinger's books in a post from a few weeks ago. He's written and illustrated quite a few books for 2-4-year-olds. Even younger children will enjoy the simple and very brightly colored pictures. Many of his books are available as board books.
כובע מקסים,כובע עם פסים / A Hat So Nice, A Hat with Stripes is for the youngest listeners and readers. Every animal has a different type of hat. A simple hat, a spotted hat, a square hat and many more types of hats. Sometimes the text tells the reader what type of hat they are seeing. Sometimes the reader has to fill in what type of hat he's seeing. The copy I have is a board book. Ages 2-4.
!אין אריות כאילו / There Are No Lions Like That! No lion sleeps in a bed or sings songs or has wings. Children know that which is why the book is so funny. Here's another book where they get to fill in the blanks and be part of the story. Ages 2-4.
Tip no. 31
A wonderful quote from one of my very favorite children's books!
When I began collecting books about grandfathers, I was surprised to find such a large selection of books. I assumed that there would be more grandmother books but it turns out I was wrong. Both my grandfathers passed away before I was born so the idea of having a grandfather is like a fairy tale for me.
המכנסים של סבא /Grandfather's Pantsbyעדינהבר-אל / Adina Bar-El is a family favorite. Grandfather has two pairs of pants - one short and one long. When he wants to relax, he wears the short pants and when he goes out he wears the long pants. Friday evening he wore the long pants when he went to shul/synagogue. After dinner, he wants to relax and put on his short pants but he can't find them. He and Grandma look everywhere - even the dog house! You will laugh out loud when you find out where the short pants were all along. Ages 3-6.
סבאלה/ Grandpa by סנונית בנט / Snonit Banet is a sweet, simple book about a boy and his grandfather. They have a wonderful relationship. The boy and his grandfather love to spend time together. They have a special type of kiss - not on the cheek or on the nose. They have a special forehead kiss.
ילדה של ספרים / The Story Girl by עמי גדליה / Ami Gedalyah has always been a favorite of mine. Gal is especially close to her grandfather who loves to read all the classics to her. She is a girl with quite an imagination. Gal is totally wrapped up in the stories her father and grandfather read to her. She ties up the sleeping carpenter just like the Lilliputians tied up Gulliver in Gulliver's Travels. Gali makes pancakes just like Pippi Longstockings by throwing the eggs straight in the pan.
When her grandfather passes away, she learns that in real life there isn't always a happy ending. But there are always wonderful memories and great things one can do with one's imagination. Ages 8-10.
Tip no. 30
Michael Bond, the author of the Paddington Bear series, passed away last week at the age of 91.
According to the Jerusalem Post, Bond partly based Paddington Bear on the WWII Jewish refugee children he saw arriving at London's Reading Train Station with labels around their necks. I read elsewhere that Bond based Paddington on the children evacuees leaving London during WWII with labels around their necks and small suitcases in their hands.
A few weeks ago, I asked my children about their favorite Hebrew children's books. Below are a few of their choices. Thank you to all three of them!
I also asked myself what's my favorite Hebrew children's book. But I couldn't answer. I love so many! I decided to write about the very first Hebrew children's book that I bought in Israel.
It was the fall of 1985. My daughter had started 3 year old גן /preschool knowing two words of Hebrew בובה/ doll and כדור / ball. After a few months, she started picking up Hebrew and I decided it was time to buy her a book in Hebrew. I spent more than an hour picking out the perfect book - הצב של אורן / Oren's Turtle written by מירה מאיר / Mira Meir with illustrations by אורה איל / Ora Ayal.
Oren wants a turtle. He and his father look in the woods but can't find one. The next day his mother finds a turtle and brings it to Oren's גן/preschool. The children want to take care of the turtle and bring it toys, books, and food. The turtle doesn't read the books or play with the toys but he does eat the salad. He sees that the children left to eat so he decides it's time to move on. How do the children react when they finish eating and can't find the turtle? How does Oren react? Ages 3-5.
When my younger daughter was in גן/preschool, her favorite book was בבה סיטר / Doll Sitter by רלה מזלי / Relah Mazli. Once there was a girl whose name was Lino. Her mother liked the name Liyah and her father liked the name Noa. Her parents loved each other and decided to compromise and call their daughter Lino.
Lino loves her dolls and treats them like her brothers and sisters. One day her parents tell her they are all going on a three-month vacation to all sorts of exotic places. Lino loves the idea but refuses to even consider going on the trip and leaving her brothers and sisters. What to do?
I doubt you can still buy this book in the bookstores but it is available in libraries and second-hand book sites. Ages 3-6.
מכשפה מקלקלת/ A Mischievous Witch by עפרה גלברט-אבני / Ofra Gelbart -Avni was a favorite of my son and my younger daughter. Fadihah was the very first witch in the Witch Kingdom to buy a computer! No witch was allowed to have a computer because who would want to be like those inferior humans? Fadihah has big plans and human children are in big trouble! Ages 8-10.
הגברת עם המגבעת / The Lady with the Hat was a favorite of my older daughter. The book was written by well-known authorאורי אורלב/ Uri Orlev.
The book tells two parallel stories. The story of Yulik, a 17-year-old Holocaust survivor, and of Melonie/ Malkah his aunt from England. After WWII, Yulik is living in Italy. He lives with other young Jewish survivors, learning about agriculture while waiting to illegally enter Palestine. At the same time, his aunt, who lived out the war years with her non-Jewish husband in England, is desperately trying to find her nephew Yulik. It's a thriller, a love story and a historical novel all rolled into one. Ages 12-14.
I apologize to my e-mail subscribers for receiving an old post a few days ago. It was sent out by accident.
Tip no. 29
A family favorite is the Harry Potter Series which we read in English. Yesterday, June 26, 2017, marks 20 years sinceHarry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone(published in the U.S. as Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone) was first published. The series has sold over 450 million copies in 79 languages.
Last week, Israeli author דויד גרוסמן/ David Grossman won the prestigious Man Booker International Prize for his book סוס אחד נכנס לבר / A Horse Walks into a Bar.
David Grossman writes books for children, teenagers, and adults. His books have been translated into about 30 languages and he has been awarded many literary prizes.
Here are a few of his books for younger children.
Grossman has a wonderful short series for children called ספורי איתמר /Stories about Itamar. Itamar is a little red headed boy with extremely good parents, There is so much love in this series. Ages 3-7.
Here are three of the books from the series:
In the book איתמר וכובע הקסמים השחור / Itamar and the Black Magic Hat, Itamar finds a large black hat. His father tells him it's a magic hat. It can change creatures to other creatures but can't change them back to their original form. Itamar happily changes his father into a monkey but then can't change him back . In the end, Itamar finds an original way to turn his father back to himself.
Itamar would love to get send a letter in the mail and get a response. But he has a huge problem. He doesn't know how to write. His father finds a unique way to help him "send" a letter. Read איתמר מכתב / Itamar Letter to find out how his father solves Itamar's problem.
Itamar has a special talent - he can walk on walls. He can also jump into the pictures on his walls. The mother and father lions in his jungle picture look sad. Their cub has run away and jumped on a train. With the help of the girl in another picture, Itamar is able to bring the cub back to his parents. You can hear David Grossman read איתמר מטיל על הקירות / Itamar Climbs on the Wallsand see the animated version of the book.
Have any of your children ever had an imaginary friend? In החברה הסודית של רחלי / Racheli's Secret Friend, Racheli has an imaginary friend called Hadas. Hadas is part of the family and joins Racheli and her family for all their activities. Hadas, of course, sleeps with Racheli every night. One night Racheli has to say good-night to Hadas at her house. Her house? She isn't sleeping with Racheli? Racheli has a novel idea how to gently let go of her imaginary friend.
Jonathan's father put him on his back and calls out " Who wants a sack of flour?"His father asks quite a few inanimate objects that question. Jonathan doesn't want any of them to buy him. Finally, his father asks his mother if she wants to buy a sack of flour. Jonathan happily agrees to be bought for the price of two kisses.
?מי רוצה שק-קמח/Who Wants a Bag of Flour? will put a smile on everyone's face. Ages 4-6.
I recommend another book about Jonathan in an earlier post. He was a very young detective in the bookיונתן בלש ממש/Jonathan the Effective Detective.
Tip no. 28
Golda Meir (1898-1978) was the fourth Prime Minister of Israel from 1969 - 1974. But did you know that she was also a librarian in Milwaukee and in Chicago before she made aliyah?
I always have piles of books around that I want to read. I also have a bookshelf next to my desk of books that I want to blog about. Here's a combination of both groups. Two books were published this year, one was published in 2016 and the "oldest" in 2007.
Alphabet books are not as popular in Israel as they are in the States. דתיה בן - דןר / Datia Ben -Dor has an alphabet book that's a bit different from the usual. The colors in her book are very soft and quiet. Your pre-schoolers will enjoy the illustrations in אותיות מצחיקות / Funny Letters(2007). Ages 3-6.
אמי רובינגר / Ami Rubinger is a very popular author/illustration of books for 2-4-year-olds. Several of his books were published as board books. His latest book which came out this year is חלום של שולחן כחל / A Dream About A Blue Table. It has large, colorful, simple illustrations with very little detail. The hero of the book falls asleep and dreams about all the things that his little blue table can turn into. It can be a bridge, a boat and more. You and your child get to guess the last word of every sentence. Ages 2-4.
The book לביאת/ Leviat (2016) starts with a classic picture of an Israeli pre-school. The boys are playing with planes and the girls are playing with dolls. All the girls' names are written on pink paper and all the boys' names are written on blue paper. Ronah draws a picture of a lioness in pre-school. The teacher gives a book to each child that's connected to the animal they drew. The teacher can't find a book for her about girl lions. So, the children in the preschool decide to write their own story. In the last picture in the book, the pre-school class looks quite different. The boys and girls are playing together. The names of the children are all written on a neutral color paper and the bulletin board features famous women. Leviat was written by טל ברייר בן מוחה / Tal Breyer Ben Mohah. Ages 5-7.
חטפן הספרים/ The Snatchabook was originally published in English in 2013 and this year it was published in Hebrew. I was not that impressed with the translation but I am recommending this book because the plot is so sweet and the illustrations are lovely. Somewhere nearby all the animals are reading bedtime stories to their children. But suddenly all their bedtime books disappear. A little rabbit by the name of Eliza Brown discovers that the books have been taken by a little snatchabook. The poor little snatchabook has no one to read him a bedtime story. Eliza comes up with a solution that works for everyone. The book was written by הלן דוקרטי / Helen Docherty and illustrated by תומס דוקרטי / Thomas Docherty. Ages 4-7.
Tip no. 27
A few months ago, I started a new job as a librarian in the city of Modiin. The job is in a new library which just opened this past Monday. Please tell your friends and family in Modiin that there is a new public library in the Kramim neighborhood. The library is located in the building of the ORT High School (Ironi Daled). The hours are Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 4:00 PM - 7:00 PM and Fridays from 8:00 - 12:00. Looking forward to seeing you there!