Review: You're the Cheese in My Blintz

You're the Cheese in My Blintz by Leslie Kimmelman, illustrated by Ramona Kaulitzki

Category: Board Book
Reviewer: Kathy Bloomfield

Using lilting, rhyming verse, this delightful board book conveys what is in every parent’s heart – the depth of love they have for their baby: “In my blintz, you’re the cheese./To my heart, you’re the keys./ You’re the joy of each Shabbat./ You’re the soup in my pot./You’re the hip in my hooray/…the sweet peace of every day…” and so on.

Most pages depict a single parent and child enjoying some activity together, e.g. a picnic of blintzes and strawberries, a Shabbat dinner, dancing around the room. The parents and children depicted represent a multicultural, ethnic mix as well as a range of Jewish observance, which is lovely and rare to see in books for a Jewish audience.

The illustrations are charming, using a muted color palette with simple expressions to represent joy, wonder, peace and more.

This is a wonderful title for new parents.

With Alef-Bet blocks, Israel books, Shabbat candlesticks, and other Jewish items represented in each home, this small little gem portrays an authentic and positive Jewish experience. The language and illustrations are perfect for babies and toddlers. The diversity of Jewish families including people of color and adopted children of color is well represented. Published by Kar-Ben Publishers, it is easily available to a large book-buying market.

As board books go, this is an excellent, joyful book for a Jewish family. However, it is a board book, so while I can see it as notable, I do not see it as an Award contender.

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Kathy Bloomfield is the Vice President/President Elect of the Association of Jewish Libraries. She lives in Seal Beach, CA.