Welcome to the PJ Lending Library, brought to you by the Jewish Federation & Foundation of Rockland County. Here’s where you will find Jewish-themed books for your children, ages six months to eight-years-old +, all for your enjoyment.
Here's how it works:
26 Big Things Small Hands Do
Written by Coleen ParatoreIllustrated by Mike Reed2-4 YearsAs you go through the alphabet, don’t forget the ABCs of mitzvot. Performing good deeds is something even the littlest among us can do.
A Basket Full of Figs
Written by Ori Elon Illustrated by Menahem Halberstadt6-7 YearsWhen the Roman Emperor gallops through the village, no one dares to leave the house, except for a one-hundred-year-old old man planting a fig. Will he enjoy it's fruits? A new adaptation of the Talmudic story about faith in the future and the gifts that every man leaves for generations to come.
A Hanukkah with Mazel
Written by Joel Stein Illustrated by Elisa Vavouri5-6 YearsPoor Misha! He spends Hanukkah all by his lonesome... until Mazel, a hungry barn cat, strolls into his life. Misha may not have enough money to light Hanukkah candles, but with a little luck -- or Mazel! -- he can use his art to bring some light to the holiday.
A Hole in the Boat
Written by Adi Zelichov RaleviIllustrated by Shiraz Poman 6-7 Years Ten sailors sail together in a great ship. What happens when one sailor decides to drill a hole only in his cabin? An amusing version of an ancient story that illustrates the well-known myth that “all of Israel are responsible for one another.”
All the World
Written by Liz Garton Scanlon Illustrated by Marla Frazee 3-4 Years As this lovely book reminds us, the world is filled with beautiful things -- big and small. The trick is to remember to take note of them.
Antlers with Candles
Written by Chris Barash Illustrated by Melissa Iwai3-4 YearsEven if children are too young to understand the historyEverything looks new when seen from a child’s perspective, including menorahs, dreidels, and latkes. But family togetherness is something everyone understands.
Around the Passover Table
Written by Tracy NewmanIllustrated by Adriana Santos3-4 YearsEveryone's gathered together for Passover, and now it's time to go through the ritual steps! Read along as this family makes its way from the beginning of the seder to the end...in rhyme.
Baby Be Kind
Written by Jane Cowen-FletcherIllustrated by Jane Cowan-Fletcher 6 Mo – 2 Years Everyone can take part in tikkun olam (repairing the world). Petting a puppy, sharing snacks, and helping someone who has fallen down all help make the world a little better.
Bitter and Sweet
Written by Sandra V. FederIllustrated by Kyrsten Brooker 6-7 Years Hannah’s family is moving -- and Hannah feels bitter about it. Her grandmother tells her that when she left the old country, she felt the same way, but reminds her that every hard time has a little bit of sweetness, too. When Hannah meets a new neighbor her age, she begins to see what her grandmother means.
Bone Button Borscht
Written by Aubrey DavisIllustrated by Dusan Petricic 5-7 Years In this gentle retelling of the Stone Soup tale, an imaginative beggar teaches the miserly residents of a shtetl the spirit of community.
Chicken Soup, Chicken Soup
Written by Pamela MayerIllustrated by Deborah Melmon 6-7 Years Lucky Sophie has two grandmas, Bubbe and Nai Nai, and they both love to cook. Each grandma has her own family recipe for chicken soup -- and each soup is yummy! As Sophie learns more about these soups, she soon realizes they're actually very similar, even though they've each got their own delicious flavor.
¿Dónde está Shmata?
Written by Tana RossIllustrated by Elisa Kleven 3-4 Years Shmata is missing! Is it there behind the pillow — or is that an armadillo? Lift the flaps to help the little girl in this book find her beloved blankie in this sweet story set in Latin America.
Engineer Ari and the Sukkah Express
Written by Deborah Bodin CohenIllustrated by Shahar Kober 3-4 YearsEngineer Ari stops to see all his friends as he drives his train to Jerusalem, and each one helps him gather the supplies he needs for his sukkah. But when Sukkot arrives, he wishes they could all share the holiday with him! When he goes back to the train station, he finds a surprise waiting.
Fast Asleep in a Little Village in Israel
Written by Jennifer Tzivia MacLeod Illustrated by Tiphanie Beeke 3-4 Years Mrs. Strauss is having trouble sleeping -- her animal neighbors are making too much of a ruckus! But soon the rains fall, and with them, a welcoming hush arrives. She’s not the only one who’s happy about it.
Written by Salina YoonIllustrated by Salina Yoon 3-4 Years When Bear finds a stuffed bunny in the forest, he starts looking for its owner. But soon he gets to like the bunny! What will happen when the owner comes forward?
Written by Yona Zeldis McDonoughIllustrated by Malcah Zeldis 8+ Years This story introduces Hank Greenberg, baseball superstar and the first Jewish inductee to the Hall of Fame. Greenberg’s story takes place at a time when “outsiders” were breaking through barriers in American professional sports.
Written by Eric A. KimmelIllustrated by Mike WohnoutkaBubba Brayna has invited the rabbi to join her in a lovely Hanukkah dinner! But Bubba Brayna is very old, and she doesn't see very well. When a guest arrives at her door, she thinks it's the rabbi...but it's not. And this guest is hungry!
Written by Chris Barash Illustrated by Sarita Rich 6 Mo – 2 Years Shabbat, the Jewish Sabbath, is a time for cozy family togetherness. But come Saturday evening, Shabbat is over. The family in the story, a young girl joined by her Mama, Ima, Savta, and Saba, gathers together to perform the rituals of Havdalah, marking the end of Shabbat and the return to the work week. Together they show just how cozy even the end of Shabbat can be.
Hillel Builds a House
Written by Shoshana LeponIllustrated by Angeles Ruiz 4-5 Years Hillel loves building little play houses, but they keep not quite working. His Purim house gets soaked, and his Hanukkah house is a fire hazard. But then, Sukkot comes along...a holiday perfect for building houses!
Hillel Takes a Bath
Written by Vicki L. WeberIllustrated by John Joven 5-6 Years When Rabbi Hillel tells his students that he’s using a cloth to do a mitzvah, they’re all confused. What mitzah could he possibly be doing that involves a cloth? Here’s a hint: They’re forgetting about the mitzvah of taking care of one’s body. Here’s another: After reading this book, you might be in the mood for a good bubble bath!
How Do Candles Light the Night?
Written by Tish RabeIllustrated by Renee Andriani-Williams 7-8 Years Simmy and Sammy like to get to the bottom of things -- scientifically. So when it’s time to light candles to usher in Shabbat, they don’t just want to know why...they want to know how!
How to Heal a Broken Wing
Written by Bob GrahamIllustrated by Bob Graham 4-5 Years All the grownups in the city were too busy to notice. Only a small child saw the injured pigeon lying helplessly on the sidewalk. This quiet story of a boy, a bird, and a broken wing relates the power of compassion, patience, and hope.
I Love Camp!
Written by Todd ParrIllustrated by Todd Parr 3-4 Years A great way to introduce the concept of camp to little ones!
In the Jerusalem Forest
Written by Devora BusheriIllustrated by Noa Kelner3-4 YearsThis story, inspired by a poem by Israeli national poet Hayim Nahman Bialik, captures a quiet moment of intimacy between mother and daughter in the the vast Jerusalem forest.
It's Challah Time!
Written by Latifa Berry KropfIllustrated by Tod Cohen 6 Mo-2 Years Photographs showcase children in a Jewish preschool as they prepare for Shabbat, the Jewish Sabbath, by making challah, a traditional, braided egg bread.
Itzhak, a Boy Who Loved the Violin
Written by Tracy NewmanIllustrated by Abigail Halpin 7-8 Years Young Itzhak Perlman loves the violin...but he does not love practicing. After a near-fatal bout with polio, Itzhak learns to persevere -- and before long, he finds himself on the international stage.
Just Enough and Not Too Much
Written by Kaethe ZemachIllustrated by Kaethe Zemach3-4 YearsSimon is a fiddler who loves a lot of things -- and consequently fills his house with a lot of stuff! Eventually there’s so much stuff there’s barely room to move around. What should he do?
Kibitzers and Fools
Written by Simms TabackIllustrated by Simms Taback 8+ Years Care to learn a bisl Yiddish? With a little chutzpah and a lot of charm, this book -- written and illustrated by the late, great Simms Taback -- will give you just a shtickle of the colorful, expressive language of Ashkenazi Jewry.
Kishka for Koppel
Written by Aubrey DavisIllustrated by Sheldon Cohen8+ YearsIn this retelling of a Jewish tale, a magic meat grinder helps a poor Jewish couple recognize their blessings after the three wishes it grants them don’t bring the happiness they expect.
Latkes, Latkes, Good to Eat
Written by Naomi HowlandIllustrated by Naomi Howland4-5 YearsIn this retelling of the well-known tale, an old woman gives Sadie a frying pan that will continue to make potato pancakes until it hears the magic words that will make it stop.
Maurie J Manning 4-7 yearsYears In a picture book that blends realism and fantasy, a shoeshine boy is surprised when a piece of red silk falls from the sky. Trying to find its owner, he ventures up and down fire escapes, back and forth across clotheslines, and into the company of the colorfully diverse people who live in the tenement. Lively pages laid out in multiple panels, with a few words of text in dialogue balloons, capture the exhilarating action, and foreign language phrases are translated on the endpapers. There is a cheerful side to a neighborhood packed with people of different origins—the opportunity to make friends across race lines, culture lines, and clotheslines!
Lilah Tov, Good Night
Written by Mister GIllustrated by Noar Lee Naggan 2-3 Years This family is leaving home on a long trip under cover of night. We don't know why they're leaving or where they're going, but we do know on their journey, they take comfort in the natural world around them, and repeat "lilah tov" (good night) to the creatures they meet along the way.
Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse
Written by Kevin HenkesIllustrated by Kevin Henkes 6-7 Years Lilly loves her purse -- but when she disrupts class with it, her teacher has to take it away for a while. Lilly doesn't react so well... and soon she's going to have to learn how to say two of the most important words: "I'm sorry."
Listen! Israel's All Around
Written by Jamie Kiffel-AlchehIllustrated by Steve Mack 2-3 Years From the shuk to the kibbutz, Israel is a dynamic country filled with amazing sights to see...and sounds to go with them.
Little Red Rosie
Written by Eric A. KimmelIllustrated by Monica Gutierrez2-3 YearsWith Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, just around the corner, Little Red Rosie wants to make a round challah to celebrate the holiday. Who will help her make the challah -- and then eat it? You might be surprised!
Written by Lois BrandtIllustrated by Vin Vogel7-8 YearsWhen Sofia learns that her best friend, Maddi, doesn't have enough food in her fridge, she wants to help -- but Maddi has asked Sofia not to tell anyone. What should Sofia do?
Marven of the Great North Woods
Written by Kathryn LaskyIllustrated by Kevin Hawkes 6+ Years When a flu epidemic strikes Duluth, Minnesota, a young boy’s parents send him far away, to the safety of a logging camp in the North Woods. There he finds an unlikely friend in a burly French-Canadian lumberjack.
Meet the Latkes
Written by Alan SilberbergIllustrated by Alan Silberberg 7-8 Years Grandpa Latke is telling the rest of the Latke family the story of Hanukkah -- but he seems to be a little confused about some the details. Is it Mega Bees or Maccabees? Can someone please set Grandpa straight?
Written by Gloria KosterIllustrated by Holli Conger 2-3 Years There’s nothing Mitzi loves more than to perform a mitzvah -- even if she is just a puppy! When she visits the local nursing home, she helps the residents celebrate Rosh Hashanah, and does a bunch of mitzvot along the way.
Mr. Tempkin Climbs a Tree
Written by Cary FaganIllustrated by Carles Arbat 6-7 Years Marky likes spending time with his neighbor, Mr. Tempkin, a lot -- even though there’s quite an age difference between them. His father says this is a mitzvah, but Marky doesn’t understand why until Mr. Tempkin falls from a tree and gets hurt. Now Marky is beginning to learn how being a good friend can also be a good deed.
Mrs. Katz and Tush
Written by Patricia PolaccoIllustrated by Patricia Polacco 5-8 Years A long-lasting friendship develops between Larnel, a young African-American, and Mrs. Katz, a lonely Jewish widow, when Larnel presents Mrs. Katz with a scrawny kitten.
My Face Book
6 Mo - 2 Years Babies adore looking at faces -- whether they’re smiling or frowning, all expressions are captivating. This book offers up some Hebrew while also presenting a variety of fascinating baby faces. Your little one will want to “read” these faces again
My Grandfather's Coat
Written by Jim AylesworthIllustrated by Barbara McClintock5-6 YearsGrandfather made himself a coat when he came to America -- and now it’s wearing out. What do you think he’ll do? (Hint: He doesn’t throw it out!)
My Sister Is Sleeping
Written by Devora BusheriIllustrated by Michel Kichka4-5 YearsThis delightful, quiet story by famed Israeli author Devora Busheri describes and older sibling delighting in creation -- specifically, the creation of a beautiful baby sister.
Netta and Her Plant
Written by Ellie Gellman Illustrated by Natascia Ugliano 4-5 Years The plant that Netta received on Tu B’Shevat is growing -- and so is Netta. In fact, soon it will be time for the plant -- and Netta -- to do new things. Growing bigger is intimidating, but it’s also wonderful.
Oh No, George!
Written by Chris HaughtonIllustrated by Chris Haughton 3-4 Years George is a dog who means well. He really does. But he keeps making mistakes. Soon George learns how to take responsibility for his behavior, make amends, and try to do better the next time. (Emphasis on TRY.)
Onions and Garlic
Written by Rebecca SheirIllustrated by Sabina Hahn 8+ Years This old Yiddish folktale about the economics of supply and demand will delight readers of all ages...and might make them hungry, to boot.
Only Nine Chairs
Written by Deborah Uchill Miller Illustrated by Karen Ostrove3-4 YearsHow in the world do you handle nineteen guests at a seder when you only have nine chairs?
Pavel and the Tree Army
Written by Heidi Smith Hyde Illustrated by Elisa Vavouri 7-8 Years Pavel is a new American, and he’s excited to take part in making his adopted country beautiful -- so he joins an army corps that’s dedicated to planting trees! Some of the people he works with are less welcoming than others, but Pavel learns that becoming a true American is a little like planting your roots in a new land.
Pearl Moscowitz's Last Stand
Written by Arthur Levine Illustrated by Robert Roth7-8 YearsPearl loved her street. She loved the people on her street, and she loved the trees on her street -- planted there by her mother years before. So when the city wants to cut them down, it’s time for Pearl to take a stand.
Picture a Tree
Written by Barbara ReidIllustrated by Barbara Reid 5-6 Years Close your eyes and picture a tree. Everyone knows what a tree looks like, right? But there are so many different ways to look at them -- and appreciate all the things that they do.
Queen Vashti’s Comfy Pants
Written by Leah BerkowitzIllustrated by Ruth Bennett8+ YearsQueen Vashti was hanging out with her friends when the King rudely summoned her to entertain him. He didn't even ask nicely! What's a strong, independent woman to do in that situation?
Rainy Day Story
Written by Ruth CalderonIllustrated by Noa Kelner 6-7 Years In this ancient story, Rabbi Hanina Ben Dosa prays for the rain to stop—and it does! But soon he realizes there are consequences beyond his own comfort.
Raisins and Almonds: A Yiddish Lullaby
Written by Susan Tarcov Illustrated by Sonia Sanchez 5-6 Years Annie wakes up to a strange noise under her bed in the middle of the night. Naturally, she asks her mother what’s happening...and the sleepy conversation that follows is the stuff of a classic Yiddish lullaby that has soothed generations of children.
Rebecca’s Journey Home
Written by Brynn Olenberg SugarmanIllustrated by Michelle Shapiro 6-7 Years Mr. and Mrs. Stein and their two sons eagerly adopt a baby girl from Vietnam into their Jewish home.
Right Side Up: Adventures in Chelm
Written by Eric A. KimmelIllustrated by Steve Brown 8+ Years The town of Chelm is filled with the silliest people, which means the stories of Chelm are pretty silly, too. This collection of traditional Chelm stories may have been updated for modern kids, but the humor is timeless.
Sam and Charlie (and Sam Too!) Return
Written by Leslie KimmelmanIllustrated by Stefano Tambellini 5-6 Years They’re back! Sam and Charlie are best friends who spend holidays -- and regular days -- having fun and learning together (with Charlie’s sister, Sam Too!).
Sammy Spider's First Passover
Written by Sylvia RoussIllustrated by Katherine Janus Kahn3-4 YearsPoor Sammy! He wants to help Josh Shapiro find the afikomen, but as everyone knows, spiders don’t celebrate Passover -- spiders spin webs!
Saturdays Are Special
Written by Chris Barash Illustrated by Abigail Marble 3-4 Years In this child’s household, Shabbat is different from the rest of the week -- slower, quieter, more peaceful. Most of all, everyone has more time to spend with one another. That’s what makes Saturdays so special.
Shmulik Paints the Town
Written by Lisa ChottinerIllustrated by Catalina Echeverri5-6 YearsYom Ha'atzmaut, Israel Independence Day, is here -- and the mayor wants Shmulik to paint a mural to celebrate. But what should Shmulik paint?
Sign Language Shabbat
Written by Alisa Greenbacher & Jennifer RosnerIllustrated by Shelley Rotner & David Hyde Costello 2-3 Years The children in this book sign words for things people do on Shabbat, such as eat challah, drink wine or grape juice, sing Shabbat songs, and (of course!) read books. Shabbat Shalom!
Signs in the Well
Written by Shoham Smith Illustrated by Vali Mintzi7-8 YearsAkiva liked being a shepherd. He was good at it. But he also wished he could read. As a grown man, he thought it was too late to learn, but one day he notices something inside a well that helps him to think differently.
Sweet Tamales for Purim
Written by Barbara BietzIllustrated by John Kanzler5-6 YearsRebecca is excited to share Purim with her best friend, Luis, in their little desert town in the Old West. But then her goat eats the hamantaschen ingredients! What's Purim without hamantaschen? Luis helps Rebecca come up with a sweet solution.
THANKS from The Very Hungry Caterpillar
Written by Eric Carle 6 Mo – 2 Years The Very Hungry Caterpillar has so many reasons to be thankful! Follow the caterpillar on a tour of thank-yous for the many blessings we all share.
The Book of Jonah
Written by Peter E. Spier Illustrated by Peter E. Spier 8+ Years It’s the classic story of Jonah and the great fish, retold in synagogues every year on Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. Jonah doesn’t want to do what God tells him, and tries to run away -- but ultimately he learns there’s no real way to run from your responsibilities.
Written by Jennifer RosnerIllustrated by Kristina Swarner 6-7 Years Ruthie's friend Bayla is deaf, but Bayla has come up with ways to communicate with the hearing world. When Ruthie realizes Bayla can't hear herdoorbell, Ruthie thinks of another idea to help Bayla stay connected to the world around her.
The Chameleon That Saved Noah's Ark
Written by Yael Molchadsky Illustrated by Orit Bergman 6-7 Years Noah’s Ark didn’t just hold animals -- it held food for all those animals to eat. But the chameleons were very picky eaters! No one could have guessed how this problem would be solved.
The Parakeet Named Dreidel
Written by Isaac Bashevis Singer Illustrated by Suzanne Raphael BerksonA parakeet shows up at David’s family’s window one snowy Hanukkah night. When they can’t track down his owners, they happily adopt him as their own pet. But many years later David meets the bird’s original owner, Zelda. How can they both keep theparakeet?
The Mitzvah Magician
Written by Linda Elovitz MarshallIllustrated by Christiane Engel 4-5 Years Gabriel loves pretending to be a magician, but his magic wand keeps getting him into trouble. Then he figures out how to be a mitzvah magician, using his powers for good. One-wish, two-wish, Jew-wish!
The Mystery Bear
Written by Leone Adelson Illustrated by Naomi Howland3-5 YearsA hungry bear, waking from hibernation, finds himself in the home of an elderly woman as she celebrates the holiday of Purim.
The Night World
Written by Mordicai Gerstein Illustrated by Mordicai Gerstein3-4 YearsWhile the rest of the world is asleep, the night world is awake and alert with curiosity and gratitude -- and so are we.
The Rabbi Slurps Spaghetti
Written by Leslie KimmelmanIllustrated by Sharon Davey5-6 YearsLena is a kid detective -- and her current case is figuring out what makes Rabbi Max tick! Why is he so involved with the community? She’s watching closely…
The Tale of Meshka the Kvetch
Written by Carol Chapman Illustrated by Arnold Lobel5-6 YearsMeshka has a tendency to exaggerate -- and she forgets to be grateful for what she has. By the end of this old Yiddish folktale, she’ll learn an important lesson!
The Wisdom Bird
Written by Sheldon Oberman Illustrated by Neil Waldman 7-8 Years In this story based on Jewish and African tales, the Queen of Sheba travels a great distance to meet King Solomon, who is known far and wide for his wisdom. During her visit, both the queen and king learn important lessons from a little bird.
Welcome Song for Baby
Written by Richard Van Camp 6 Mo – 2 Years With delightful photos and engaging text, this book offers a Jewish perspective on the many joys of welcoming a little one into the family.
When Zaydeh Danced on Eldridge Street
Written by Elsa Okon Rael Illustrated by Marjorie Priceman 8+ Years Zeesie is a little afraid of Zaydeh, her grandfather. He’s always so serious and stern. But when Simchat Torah rolls around, Zeesie sees a different side of him. Something about this holiday brings out joy in everyone -- even Zaydeh!