Showing posts with the label Jennifer Tzivia MacLeod

Review: The Peacock

The Peacock by Jennifer Tzivia MacLeod, illustrated by Jamie MacGibbon Orca Book Publishers, 2024 Category: Middle Grade Reviewer: Sara Lesley Arnold Buy at Through the lens of a young girl in Toronto grappling with an unwanted garden guest, The Peacock introduces young readers to the Jewish refugee crisis after World War II. Barbara’s father, a tailor, is overcome with a feeling of responsibility for displaced persons in Europe, and sets out across the sea to help Jews secure tailoring jobs to skirt around Canada’s impossibly restrictive immigration laws. Back at home, while her father is away and her brothers are at camp, the responsibility falls on Barbara herself to care for her mother, who, in addition to being grief-stricken from the news of the horrific treatment of Jews in Europe, is terrorized daily by the peacock who has mysteriously planted himself in their yard. Learning from her father’s example of taking action and keeping in mind his wise words, “It’s up to

Review: Pumpkin Pie for Sigd

Pumpkin Pie for Sigd by Jennifer Tzivia MacLeod, illustrated by Denise Damanti Apples & Honey Press (imprint of Behrman House) Category: Picture Books Reviewer: Chava Pinchuck Buy at The focus of this story is on Maddie, a white American girl who has made aliyah with her family from the United States, and who misses Thanksgiving and its traditional foods. She is welcomed by her black friend Orly's family to join their celebration of Sigd, the Ethiopian holiday that celebrates the acceptance of the Torah. The story highlights diversity with the girls prevailing on neighbors for ingredients for a pumpkin pie. The illustrations are colorful, with the Sigd celebration scenes full of happy people and lively interaction. Readers learn about traditional Ethiopian foods - misir wat (spicy lentil stew), injera (sour bread), and dabo (holiday bread). An author's note explains how immigrants to Israel acclimate and a little about Sigd, which falls on the 29th of Cheshvan

Review: Clarence's Topsy Turvy Shabbat

Clarence's Topsy Turvy Shabbat by Jennifer Tzivia MacLeod, illustrated by Jennie Poh Category: Picture Books Reviewer: Rachel J. Fremmer Clarence’s Topsy Turvy Shabbat by Jennifer Tzivia MacLeod is a sweet story of preparing for Shabbat that is sure to appeal to preschoolers. Clarence seems to not know what he is doing, but in the end it turns out he had a plan all along. It’s best not to think too hard about why he needed a bunny to help him get Shabbat supplies, but children will be too entertained to care about any plot holes. Clarence and his friends, including a goofy, not-too-scary monster, welcome Shabbat happily yet peacefully, a mood enhanced by the muted palette. Are you interested in reviewing books for The Sydney Taylor Shmooze? Click here! Reviewer Rachel J. Fremmer is a lawyer-turned-elementary-school librarian. A native New Yorker, she lives in Manhattan with her husband and two daughters. In addition to reading, she loves to bake and to do crossword