Grandma: A stellar source for writer’s research & just on the other end of the phone line

grandma and little girl

This grandmother may be cute, but she’s not as awesome as mine! (On the other hand, the little girl is much cuter than I ever was.)

I happen to be blessed with an amazing grandmother. At 92 (she should live to 120!) she’s slowed down a bit, and I wish I could spend more time with her. I used to phone just once a week, but I’m trying to call her more often, as it’s now hard for her to get out and about the way she used to. I fill her in on what’s going on around here, and she tells me what she’s been up to.

Frequently, what my grandma is up to is sorting through old letters, photos, magazines, and other memorabilia. Continue reading

Looking for a gift? 5 New books to consider this Chanukah season, including Red is My Rimon, Chanukah Guess Who?, The Torah Book of Opposites, The Wooden Sword, and The Tempest in the Tea Room

lighting chanukiah with abba

Chanukah is coming! Did you remember to get this cutie a gift?

In the upcoming Chanukah edition of CitySpirit Magazine (available here in L.A. within the next week or so), you’ll find reviews of four books either authored or illustrated by local L.A. talent. Any of them would make perfect gifts for Chanukah for kids. The books I reviewed for CitySpirit (with links to their pages on Amazon) are:

Red is My Rimon

Chanukah Guess Who?

The Torah Book of Opposites

The Wooden Sword

If you’re looking for a Chanukah gift for a teen or an adult reader, why don’t you check out Libi Astaire’s newest The Tempest in the Tea Room.  Continue reading

How to find a kosher book: Nifty bit in this week’s HaModia

There’s an article this week about Rabbi Alexander Seinfeld in HaModia, and it mentions almost as an aside that he and his 12 year old daughter have started a website with books for Jewish kids.
I visited the site, and the coolest thing is that it is SEARCHABLE! You can look up selections by subject and by age of reader, as well as title and author. However, it does not contain all the books out there. I’m assuming it is a work in progress and I’m very impressed with what they’ve done so far. It would be a great resource, for example, for those looking to buy a gift for a particular child or looking to stock up for a school or classroom library.
The link is in the list to the right of this blog, as well, and will remain there indefinitely.
In other “HaModia” news…my all-time favorite serial (aside from the one co-written by yours truly…) wrapped up in that magazine last week. Hopefully, This is America! will soon appear in novel format in Jewish bookstores. I really hope so, as it will deservingly find more readers this way.