Shoshana Flax

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Review of Skunk and Badger

Skunk and Badger by Amy Timberlake; illus. by Jon Klassen Primary, Intermediate    Algonquin    136 pp.    g 9/20    978-1-64375-005-7    $18.95 e-book ed.  978-1-64375-121-4    $15.95 Badger is perfectly content to live alone in a brownstone owned by Aunt Lula, which he’s arranged to suit his rather particular preferences, when a surprise roommate...

Review of Nine: A Book of Nonet Poems

Nine: A Book of Nonet Poems by Irene Latham; illus. by Amy Huntington Primary, Intermediate    Charlesbridge    32 pp.    g 4/20    978-1-62354-116-3    $16.99 e-book ed.  978-1-63289-881-4    $9.99 A nonet, as the first poem explains, is a “Grand / poem / with nine lines / one-syllable / first line builds toward /...

Happy Hanukkah 2020!

Tonight will be special. Tonight will be splendid. Tonight is HANUKKAH! If all goes well, we’ll also be done with the January/February issue of the Magazine by tonight! To celebrate, I’m planning to light these candles, picked because their colors remind me of Oge Mora’s amazing cover art, inspired by...

Review of No Vacancy

No Vacancy by Tziporah Cohen Intermediate, Middle School    Groundwood    144 pp.    g  9/20    978-1-77306-410-9    $16.95  e-book ed.  978-1-77306-411-6    $14.95  Eleven-year-old Miriam’s family buys a motel in a tiny upstate New York town and moves there from Manhattan. When it becomes clear that the motel isn’t as lucrative as her parents had...

2020 Jewish Book Council Seminar

In these days of not going anywhere, I had a chance to attend and speak at an event I’d never been to before: the Jewish Book Council’s annual Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators Seminar, held over Zoom this year. I was part of the Post-Publication Panel, along with Becca Kantor, Susan Kusel (my former Sydney...

Outside In

Cindy Derby’s illustrations in Outside In, written by Deborah Underwood, were made with watercolor and powdered graphite on cold press paper—and, per the copyright page, “some of the lines were created with dried flower stems and thread soaked in ink.” It’s a perfect example of the book’s theme: that nature...

Review of The Way Back

The Way Back by Gavriel Savit Middle School, High School    Knopf    368 pp.    g 9/20    978-1-98489-462-5    $18.99 Library ed.  978-1-9848-9463-2    $20.99 e-book ed.  978-1-9848-9464-9    $10.99 In this dark fantasy set in a nineteenth-century shtetl in Eastern Europe, grieving teens Bluma (who’s lost her grandmother) and Yehuda Leib (who found and...

Sukkot 2020

Sukkot starts tonight! This year, outdoor-ish dining in a sukkah, a temporary outdoor booth with a plant-based roof, feels extra-fashionable (though maybe this isn’t the year to invite a crowd). Whether you’re an old hand or feel like you don’t know your schach from your etrog, here are some books from...

Rosh Hashanah 2020

Rosh Hashanah begins tonight! The much-maligned 2020 may not be over yet, but at least we’ve nearly made it through 5780. ;-) Whatever 5781 brings, we hope it’s filled with good music, good games, satisfying journeys (real, virtual, or metaphorical), good progress, good relationships, maybe a little magic, safety and...

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