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2019 Sydney Taylor Book Award blog tour

Excited about this year’s Sydney Taylor Book Award winners? If so, watch this space — and these other spaces — February 10 through 14. The Sydney Taylor Book Award blog tour kicks off on Sunday, with various blogs interviewing the creators of the winners and honor books. Here at Out of the Box, Sydney Taylor Book […]

Happy (C)Han(n)uk(k)a(h) 2018!

We all could use some light. And maybe some mindless dreidel spinning. And definitely some chocolate gelt, some sufganiyot, and some latkes. (Hot take: applesauce and sour cream are both the best.) Luckily, Hanukah/Chanukah/Hannukkah/the Festival of Lights begins this Sunday night! And luckily for me, unlike Gertie in this year’s beautiful, cozy All-of-a-Kind Family Hanukkah, […]

Picture books about Jewish women

Glaser, Linda Emma’s Poem: The Voice of the Statue of Liberty 32 pp. Houghton 2010. ISBN 978-0-547-17184-5 Illustrated by Claire A. Nivola. Glaser’s account of how Emma Lazarus came to write her iconic poem is brief, yet telling — especially when complemented by Nivola’s eloquent illustrations. Her rectilinear compositions and poses; generalized figures; and bright, […]

A missed opportunity

I have been eagerly awaiting the release of Susan Hood’s Shaking Things Up: 14 Young Women Who Changed the World (HarperCollins, 2018). The text is interpreted by some of my favorite illustrators, including Julie Morstad, LeUyen Pham, Melissa Sweet, and Sophie Blackall. And from the partial list of subjects in the book’s promotional material, I […]

Five Questions for Mayim Bialik

You may know Mayim Bialik as one of the stars of The Big Bang Theory. Or as Blossom. Or as young Bette Midler in Beaches (*sob!*). Or as a real-life neuroscientist. Or a blogger. Or a mother. Or a *Jewish* mother! Or, now, as a YA nonfiction author of Girling Up!: How to Be Strong, […]

AJL 2017 in NYC

This year’s Association of Jewish Libraries conference was in NYC (don’t worry, I’ve already made all the bagel jokes). The conference was hosted by Hebrew Union College, in the vicinity of dynamic and confusing Greenwich Village, and the theme was “The Sky’s the Limit.” As a member of the Sydney Taylor Book Awards committee, I […]

Look to the lunchroom

One of our Facebook followers, librarian Danielle Winter, who I know from the Association of Jewish Libraries, posted the following on January 30, 2017. Look to the lunchroom, friends. #HBMaD #MakingaDifference When I first started my job, I was told I would need to cover lunch duty, not my favorite of tasks. The cafeteria smelled […]

Conference report: Association of Jewish Libraries 2015

While you wait with bated breath for next week’s ALA Annual conference — and the July/August Horn Book Magazine containing the Newbery, Caldecott, Coretta Scott King, and Wilder awards speeches and profiles of the winners, plus roundups of the year’s books, our Mind the Gap Awards for books that didn’t win at ALA, and more […]

Sydney Taylor: A Centenary Celebration

Within the last few years, Julia Child died at the age of ninety-one; Katharine Hepburn at ninety-six; Bob Hope at one hundred. As we watched the retrospectives of their lives promulgated through media tributes, we also saw histories of the twentieth century. Each of these famous Americans offered a life story that is also a […]