Behind the Scenes: The Book of Secrets part 1

Mat Tonti explores the world of Jewish folklore in his graphic novel, The Book of Secrets . Each story is connected through Ben and Rose's quest to find their missing grandparents, but how did Mat Tonti decide which stories to use? Read through
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Miriam at the River Blog #4: Miriam's Water

I have long been fascinated by how folk stories of strong girls and women have gotten hidden over the years of retelling....
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Miriam at the River Blog #3: Miriam to Moses

I am the older sister, of a boy four years younger. My brother Steven. Steve. Stevie. Steve Yolen who lives in Brazil.

So the story of Miriam resonates for me--that oldest sister, a seeress/author, a musician, a leader of her people who both works for and sometimes defies the Lord. 

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Miriam at the River Blog #2: Miriam at the River

Before I wrote MIRIAM AT THE RIVER, I wrote a bunch of Holocaust poems and Judaica poems. My first two professionally published & paid-for poems were in a magazine called The Chicago Jewish Forum...
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Miriam at the River Blog #1: Miriam Weeps

Quite a few readers notice that the majority of my picture books read like poems. Even if they don’t rhyme. They use all the trappings of poetry: lyricism, metaphor, simile, rhythm, internal rhymes, alliteration, etc.

This is not happenstance nor mere chance. I wrote my first poem (rhymed though not particularly well rhymed) in first grade. (I was  kindergarten age but as I had been reading since three years old, my parents and teachers decided I should be skipped ahead.


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When a Rabbi Writes a Potty-Training Book

When a Rabbi Writes a Potty-Training Book

Rabbi Kerry Olitzky has held many leadership positions in Jewish organizations.

He has written over 70 books and hundreds of articles

Yet, despite his many accomplishments, Rabbi Olitzky says that his latest project might be the most exciting of his career so far: writing a potty-training book with a Jewish bent. Where's the Potty On This Ark? is a whimsical retelling of the Noah's ark story. 
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Guest Review: The World Needs Beautiful Things

This book is set in ancient Egypt. Let me set the scene for you: a marvelous boy filled with curiosity and optimism is enamored by every single thing that catches his eye. He finds beauty in all things. This boy, Bezalel, turns out to be, with other Israelites under Egyptian rule, a slave. However, his genuine curiosity and appreciating for all things--mostly forgotten things--is refreshing. His clinging to his ‘beautiful things box’ definitely hits home.


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