Showing posts with the label Jamie Kiffel-Alcheh

Review: Rah! Rah! Mujadara

 Rah! Rah! Mujadara by Jamie Kiffel-Alcheh, illustrated by Claudine Gévr Kar-Ben Publishing Category: Picture Books Reviewer: Rachel Fremmer Buy at Rah! Rah! Mujadara is a board book celebration of the diverse foods - and people - of Israel. The book portrays children of all colors and religions (as indicated by their headwear) enjoying everything from the iconic Ashkenazi bagel to falafel, mujadara, and more. Unfortunately, the rhyming is off (gush and smush do not rhyme; nor do tell and Israel) and strain to scan (shake-a, shake-a/shak-SHUK-a). A useful introduction to the variety of foods enjoyed by Israelis. Are you interested in reviewing books for The Sydney Taylor Shmooze? Click here! Reviewer Rachel J. Fremmer is a lawyer-turned-elementary-school librarian. She is a native New Yorker and lives there with her husband two daughters, ages 15 and 13, who are rapidly outgrowing her area of book expertise. She loves baking and doing crossword puzzles.

Review: Matzah Craze

Matzah Craze  by Jamie Kiffel-Alcheh, illustrated by Lauren Gallegos Kar-Ben Publishing (a division of Lerner Publishing Group) Category: Picture Books Reviewer: Mirele Kessous Buy at Matzah Craze , by Jamie Kiffel-Alcheh and illustrated by Lauren Gallegos, takes a novel spin on the holiday of Passover. It can be awkward to bring a “Pesadic” (kosher-for-passover) lunch to school when your classmates are not familiar with Passover and its dietary restrictions. What’s a public school kid to do? Why, share the story of Passover (and the matzah) with her friends, of course! And what a diverse array of friends Noa has! Gallegos has done an excellent job portraying children of different races and backgrounds, all of whom welcome a short lesson on Jewish history from their Jewish friend. This is all done in simple rhyme, and the ease of language combined with the bright, appealing illustrations by a true professional makes this an engaging read aloud for children ages 4-7. Buy th

Review: Hard Hat Cat

Hard Hat Cat! by Jamie Kiffel-Alcheh, illustrated by Maxine Lee Category: Picture Books Reviewer: Mirele Kessous This picture book tells the story of how a stray cat, who hangs out at a construction site in Israel, comes to find his forever home. The story is told from the perspective of Ari, a young boy who notices the cat but whose mom won’t let him keep it. Children will be able to relate to Ari’s desire to keep the stray animal and they will follow along as Ari visits all of his neighbors, trying to entice them to adopt the cat. Kiffel-Alcheh’s writing is an unusual blend of poetry, prose, and sounds. While the plot will appeal to children as old as 8, the writing contains onomatopoeic words geared towards a much younger audience ("meow meow, bzz bzz!, bang bang," etc.). Some older children might be put off by that. Still, the pacing of the story is engaging, and Kiffel Alcheh incorporates Hebrew vocabulary as well as characters unique to Israel (the boreka man,