With the coming of January is the piling of snow on the ground, warm nights in with family and loved ones, and a new book season. Anticipate the coming of flowers and warm weather with us at Kar-Ben Publishing, an imprint of Lerner Publishing, proudly the largest publisher of exclusively Jewish-themed children’s books in the world!

As spring blooms, so does the major Jewish harvest holiday: Passover. Kar-Ben kicks off the celebration with Alligator Seder, a whimsical new board book of a family of alligators in Florida getting ready for their Passover Seder. Another board book celebrating Passover, more specifically Matzah, is I Love Matzah, in which a little kid goes all the different ways they eat Matzah and all the different foods they eat Matzah with.

Each week we celebrate the coming of Shabbat, the day of rest and peace. In Clarence’s Topsy-Turvy Shabbat, the narrator follows Clarence as the silly raccoon gathers some interesting ingredients to make challah for Shabbat dinner. As Shabbat comes to an end, the ceremony of Havdalah separates this peaceful time from the beginning of the week. In the next installment of the “A Holiday is Coming” series, Havdalah is Coming!, young readers are introduced to this special ceremony and all its different components.

They say home is where the heart is. Where you feel most comfortable, loved, and at peace. Hard Hat Cat! and Shalom Bayit are cute testaments to this sentiment. Hard Hat Cat is a cute little tale of a cat living in a construction site tree finding their forever home. Shalom Bayit illustrates all the places a home can be found within the world.
We follow the young, brave Miriam, in Kar-Ben’s new picture book Miriam at the River, as she places her brother into a basket to float down the river. A beautifully illustrated version of the ancient tale told from a fresh perspective.

Speaking of sisters, My Sister is Sleeping is a bilingual tale depicting the gentle love an older sibling has for their newborn sister. Buen Shabbat, Shabbat Shalom is our other bilingual book coming out. This new board book introduces young readers to the traditions of Shabbat with the added bonus of learning a little about ladino culture.
Sharing Jewish history, with picture book biographies of Jews of accomplishment, is core to Kar-Ben’s list. This season, Audrey Ades, shares the tale of Judah Touro’s life and understanding of G’milut Chasadim (acts of loving kindness) in Judah Touro Didn’t Want to be Famous. It is a value of Jewish Tradition to give to those in need, and after suffering a fatal battle injury Judah Touro does just that. Not only does he give back, but he does so in secret – one of the highest forms of charity giving in Jewish Tradition.

Originally published in Hebrew, Kar-Ben’s award-winning third middle grade novel of the season, Too Far from Home, follows the story of Meskerem as her family moves from a small town in the Golan Heights of Israel to Herzelia. Meskerem comes face-to-face with the ignorance and prejudices of her new classmates, many of whom are meeting someone dark-skinned for the first time. With the help of her Ethiopian grandmother, who remained in Kazerin, Meskerem comes to terms with who she is and finds strength in belonging to three different cultures.

Learn more about Kar-Ben books at www.karben.com.