Sunday, November 19, 2023
11:30 AM – 12:30 PM (ET)
Seating is first come, first served and requires advanced registration.
Small, but mighty, board books are usually written for toddlers with less than 100 words. They can have a powerful effect on a child’s language, social, and emotional development. Jewish board books, particularly, are a valuable opportunity to provide windows, mirrors, and sliding glass doors that nourish children at that all important time in their lives when they are learning words, concepts, pride, inclusion, empathy, and a sense of community.
Just like the board books they have created, Jewish board writers Sarah Aroeste, Ann Koffsky, and Nancy Churnin are small but mighty–rich in diversity and passion for the importance of writing Jewish-themed books for ages 0-3. They will share the techniques of their craft, reflecting Sephardi, Ashkenazi, and a broad range of Jewish perspectives, including Mazal Bueno!, Sheep Says Shalom, and Counting on Shabbat. This interactive workshop and reading will be followed by a signing, with books available for purchase.
Sarah Aroeste is an internationally acclaimed Sephardic singer/songwriter, author, and activist. Drawing upon her Sephardic family roots from N. Macedonia and Greece (via Medieval Spain), Aroeste has worked for decades bringing Ladino (Judeo-Spanish) culture to new generations through her 8 music albums, including Ora de Despertar (2016), the first-ever all-original Ladino children’s recording, and her Sephardic-themed books for kids such as Buen Shabat, Shabbat Shalom and Mazal Bueno! Her forthcoming children’s books include Anyada Buena, Shana Tovah! (Kar-Ben 2025) and Uno, Dos, Tres: A Sephardic Counting Book (PJ Library Publishing). Bringing Ladino words and music to all ages, Aroeste has garnered wide recognition for her efforts to introduce Sephardic culture to broader audiences.
Ann D. Koffsky is the author and illustrator of more than forty books, including Sheep Says Shalom, the Kayla & Kugel series, and the forthcoming Ping Pong Shabbat. Several of her books have been PJ Library selections, and her book Noah’s Swimathon received a Sydney Taylor notable designation from the Association of Jewish Libraries. Previously, Koffsky was also an editor and art director at Behrman House Publishers and an adjunct professor of art at Yeshiva University.
Nancy Churnin writes children’s books about people that inspire kids to make a positive difference and encourage kids to be heroes. Dear Mr. Dickens, the story of a woman who spoke up to Charles Dickens, won the 2021 National Jewish Book Award and a 2022 Sydney Taylor Honor, is a Junior Library Guild selection and is featured in an educational program at The Charles Dickens Museum in London, teaching kids to recognize and stand up to antisemitism. Among her other honors: multiple Sydney Taylor Notables, National Council for the Social Studies Notables, and Silver Eurekas. Counting on Shabbat, a book about counting, Shabbat, and kindness, is her first board book. She lives in North Texas. She offers free teacher guides, resources, and projects on her website at nancychurnin.com.
Co-presented by Association of Jewish Libraries
This program is made possible in part by support from the Battery Park City Authority.