What a surprise! On an ordinary January school night, I was helping my daughter with her homework when an unexpected phone call came from California, informing me my picture book AROUND THE WORLD IN ONE SHABBAT (Jewish Lights Publishing) has been chosen as an honor book by the prestigious Sydney Taylor Book Award. It took a few minutes for the good news to sink in. I was shocked!
The Sydney Taylor Book Award honors new books for children and teens that exemplify the highest literary standards while authentically portraying the Jewish experience. The award memorializes Sydney Taylor, author of the classic All-of-a-Kind Family series. Presented by the Association of Jewish Libraries since 1968, the award encourages the publication and widespread use of quality Judaic literature. Gold medals are presented in three categories: Younger Readers, Older Readers, and Teen Readers. Honor Books are awarded silver medals, and Notable Books are named in each category.
The Sydney Taylor Book Award will be celebrating titles recognized in 2012 with a Blog Tour, starting on February 5, 2012! Interviews with winning authors and illustrators will appear on a wide variety of Jewish, kidlit, and family-interest blogs. For those of you who have not yet experienced a Blog Tour, it’s basically a virtual book tour. Instead of going to a library or bookstore to see an author or illustrator speak, you go to a website on or after the advertised date to read an author’s or illustrator’s interview.
I’ll post details of the tour as soon as I have more information. In the meantime, I hope you’ll take a look at AROUND THE WORLD IN ONE SHABBAT. You can read more about the book and watch my video (click on link, then scroll down to find the video) with a quick slide-show tour of the book and me painting an illustration, or watch it on Youtube. The video is approximately 8 minutes long.
If you look inside this book, you’ll notice it’s not just about the Sabbath. It’s about families and kids and all the things they do when a special day is set apart just to enjoy life. This is the time when parents slow down, and families get the unstructured time they need so badly. The Sabbath is also a weekly occasion to share great food. There are all different ways to enjoy the Sabbath, and all different ways to think about it. It’s a tradition that’s alive and evolving in many cultures. I hope AROUND THE WORLD IN ONE SHABBAT will help educate you and your kids about the Sabbath.