Review: Shalom Bayit: A Peaceful Home

Shalmon Bayit: A Peaceful Home by Linda Elovitz Marshall, illustrated by Ag Jatkowska

Category: Picture Books (Board Book)
Reviewer: Mirele Kessous

This board book introduces the term "shalom bayit" by comparing the different places in which animals make their homes. It's a charming approach to teaching the concept and sure to appeal to toddlers and early preschoolers. With short and simple rhymes and age-appropriate language, this board book makes for a solid read-aloud. For some reason, a couple of the rhymes fall flat (i.e."leaves/ease") which is a tad awkward if you are trying to use the book to teach children how to rhyme. The adorable illustrations have just the right amount of detail for young eyes to want to take a closer look. The father and son depicted are not wearing kippot, and mom is wearing jeans, so the book may not appeal to Orthodox readers. For everyone else, though, it’s a worthwhile purchase.

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Reviewer Mirele Kessous says: I am a certified librarian with a specialty in children's and young adult library services. This is my 7th year working at The Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School in Rockville, MD. Most librarians choose their profession in a somewhat circuitous path, and I am no exception. After spending 12 years at Jewish day schools, I moved from Boston to Rhode Island to get a B.A. in Visual Art from Brown University where I specialized in children's illustration. I then moved to N.Y.C. where I landed several teaching jobs straight out of college. Ultimately though, I decided to combine my love of children, teaching and reading with my passion for illustration to become a children's librarian. So, I went back to school to earn a Master's of Library Science from Queens College, which I completed in 2011.

To me, CESJDS is a wonderful place to work, because the atmosphere is very community oriented. I enjoy seeing the same faces every day, which is not something you get in a public or academic library.

When I’m not reading, I enjoy spending time with my wonderful husband and 3 children.

Fun Fact: I had a personal correspondence with Mr. Rogers; he published my letter to him in one of his books.