babies and pregnancy · books and reading · culture/multiculturalism · food · Hispanics/Latinos · jews of color · Jews/Jewish/Judaism/Orthodox Judaism

Writing that first Jewish Dominican children’s book!

Added to my ever growing “to do” list is writing a “multicultural” children’s book. Of course, first I’d actually have to start reading children’s book. I figure they’re a bit like poetry where every word is important and the less words you use to get your point across, the better.

I’m already stockpiling books for my imaginary children. So far, my library consists of three books—two Jewish and one not.

Not Jewish

My Peanut Butter Big Brother by Selina Alko

A yummy tale told from the perspective of a “peanut butter big brother” who is trying to imagine what his new little sibling will look like after his “strawberries and cream” mother and “chocolate bar” father merge. It’s very silly but endearing and it also made me hungry for sweets.


I Love Jewish Faces by Debra B. Darvick

I sent this off to my favorite seven-year-old and she loved it because she could read it all by herself. The multicultural bent to this soft-cover book is mostly in the photographs that show a wide array of ethnically and racially diverse Jews–lovely! I’m expecting some extra copies of this from the author and as soon as I get them, I’ll be holding a contest!

Jalapeño Bagels by Natasha Wing

I finally got my hands on a copy of this book from the library. I love you, New York Public Library! Besos! Besos! The story follows a half-Mexican (on his mother’s side), half-Ashkenazi (on his father’s side) boy as he tries to figure out what tasty treat to bring to school from his parent’s bakery for a foodie show and tell-type homework assignment. He decides on jalapeno bagels–the perfect blend of his mother and his father’s cultures.

Hmm, what do Jewminicans eat on Passover? (Plantains, yucca and kugel!) What do Jewminicans eat on Shabbos? (Plantains and gefilte fish!) Why do I think my book’s going to be centered around food?
Any ideas for other children’s books I should add to my list?

5 thoughts on “Writing that first Jewish Dominican children’s book!

  1. You should be in touch with Laurel Snyder ( who writes Jewishy kids books and is totally plugged in to the Jewish kids books world. I really like New Year at the Pier, a story of a community doing Tashlikh with pictures of a diverse and multicultural group.


  2. well here are my favorite three jewish children's books today (they change, so this is today's opinion!)

    Since it is almost Hanukkah — take a look at “Hanukkah Moon” by Deborah DaCosta. A young girl visits her Mexican Jewish aunt and learn all kinds of wonderful hanukkah traditions. it has some spanish interspersed. its absolutely beautiful. we now make dreidl pinatas like in the book, and named our cat “Paco” because we got the cat last hanukkah and that cat in the book is named Paco.

    the other holiday book is for Purim, called “The Story of Queen Esther” by Jenny Koralek. The illustrations are gorgeous. she also wrote books about Moses and The Coat of Many Colors.

    Lastly, a perennial favorite is “Always an Olivia” by Carolicia Herron.

    I've been talking about writing a multicultural jewish kids book for years, but of course it hasn't happened yet!!


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