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Life Cycle Events


I have linked the books to Amazon.com, but I have linked certain items to other booksellers when Amazon didn't carry them.

As a warning, I have put up pictures of the book covers to give you somewhat an idea of the style of each book (I know, I know. "Don't judge a book by its cover") so the pages may load slowly.




NOTE: More Bar/Bat Mitzvah books can be found in the Older Reader Collection


Blessings :
Our Jewish Ceremonies
For a Jewish child, life is filled with numerous blessings, many of them marked by a special ceremony linking one generation to another. Greenberg introduces young children to the many blessings that they may encounter in their lives. Blessings will serve as a young child's first guide to the richness and beauty of Judaism's rituals as well as a lovely companion to Celebrations.

Description from Publisher
Baby's Bris
Baby's Bris
Baby's Bris chronicles the first eight days of Baby's life as seen through the eyes of his big sister. As the family gathers and plans are made for the Baby's bris, Sophie is overwhelmed by all the commotion. In the end she learns that a bris is a promise we all make to help a new baby learn and grow as a member of the Jewish community. With glossary and explanation of brit milah (ritual circumcision).
Rosie and the Mole: The Story of a Bris
Rosie and the Mole: The Story of a Bris
Rosie is jealous of all the fuss everyone is making over her new baby brother. He is getting a Naming Ceremony and a Bris - while all she received as a baby was a Naming Ceremony. When Rosie hears that the "Moel" is coming, she thinks that a real live mole is coming to do the Bris. She goes from jealous sibling to protective big sister and learns a great deal about a Bris, and what being a big sister means.

What About Me?
Nobody seemed to care about the new baby's older brother, until his wise mother solved the problem.

Description from Publisher

My Upsheren Book
For a three-year-old boy, his "upsheren" - the traditional first haircut - is an exciting event. It can also be an occasion for anxiety, which is why this book was conceived: to help parents prepare for, and reassure their child about this special day. The text's clear and simple style is complemented by delicate watercolor drawings.

Description from Publisher

A Fitting Bar Mitzvah
Sammy's getting ready for that big day! His adventures to the tailor and the sofer teach him some special things about his Bar Mitzvah, and "counting." A delightful and educational story for children, filled with beautiful color illustrations.

Description from Publisher
My Brother's Bar Mitzvah
My Brother's Bar Mitzvah
Sarah cannot believe that in one year's time Ben will be a man; he is such a "messy, dumb kid." All year she repeats that he will never be ready, but on the day of his bar mitzvah, she is impressed by his knowledge.

Description from Horn Book
Beni's First Wedding
Beni's First Wedding
On the day of Uncle Izzy and Sashi's wedding, Beni has butterflies in his stomach. As he walks slowly and steadily down the aisle with the wedding ring on the pillow, he hears friendly voices cheering him on. But just when Aunt Gertie calls out "Sheyna kup!" Beni loses his balance and accidentally tips the pillow--off rolls the ring! Will Beni find the ring in time for the wedding to go on?

In her signature style, Jane Breskin Zalben captures the joy, warmth, and tradition of a Jewish wedding celebration. Also included are brief introductions to wedding customs from around the world, as well as a recipe for Mama's Honey Wedding Cake.

Who Will Lead Kiddush?
This is the story of a young Jewish girl adjusting to her parents' divorce. She spends Shabbat at her father's apartment, where he gives her her own Kiddish cup to take home.

"--A sensitive treatment of the sad, painful, and pertinent subject of divorce." --Hadassah magazine

Grandma's Soup
A poignant presentation of mental problems associated with senility and Alzheimer's disease. Grandma, who has always made the best chicken soup for Shabbat , suddenly starts to use inappropriate spices. She forgets her grandchildren's names and is unable to remember that they have just visited. The grandchildren are told that she is sick; that this is a problem sometimes associated with getting old, and that she will probably not get better. They are also told that they will still visit and care for her; "that is what families are for--to share the good times and the bad times.''

Description from School Library Journal
Pearl's Marigolds for Grandpa
Pearl's Marigolds for Grandpa
That irrepressible lamb Pearl is back, though her spirit is understandably dampened, in Zalben's thoughtful exploration of death and the grieving process. After her grandfather's passing, Pearl is downcast ("Who will read me stories for as long as I want? Who will send me marigold seeds this spring?"), but the tenderness of family and friends carries her through her sadness. And, in an uplifting ending that reinforces the continuity of life, Pearl plants marigolds just as she did with her grandfather and resolves to carry on his traditions with her own grandchildren ("I'll let them pick the red checkers, and win, and read stories way past their bedtimes. Just like Grandpa"). Zalben's compassionate tale never becomes saccharine, and her delicate, detailed watercolors (e.g., Pearl being comforted on her mother's lap, Pearl sitting wistfully in her Grandpa's favorite chair) unfold like a series of snapshots, creating a cozy counterpoint to the somber theme. Concluding with a brief explanation of burial and mourning customs of different faiths, the broader context makes this book a particularly welcome addition on the subject.

Description by Publisher's Weekly
A Candle for Grandpa
A Candle for Grandpa: A Guide to the Jewish Funeral for Children and Parents
Jewish funeral practices are explained carefully and gently from the perspective of an 11-year-old boy on the first anniversary of his grandfather's death. No special knowledge is needed to understand this book-each step is thoroughly detailed. A glossary and notes to parents about handling death with children are included. Although Techner represents Orthodox Jewish practice, the book was published by the Reform movement and thus has a more universal appeal.
Saying Goodbye to Grandma
Saying Goodbye to Grandma

Saying Goodbye to Grandpa
Saying Goodbye to Grandpa
This book explains to children the Jewish mourning practices. The introduction details the steps that parents can take to help their child through the bereavement process.

Saying Goodbye to Grandpa is an honest book about death, written especially for Jewish children. It presents, through the eyes of a child, the emotional turmoil and changes in behavior that occur following the death of a loved one. Saying Goodbye to Grandpa is recommended for the young child who has already raised questions about death and dying, as well as for the child who has experienced the loss of close relatives and friends. It is also for the child who must, unfortunately, be prepared for an anticipated death in the family. Traditional Jewish concepts such as neshamah (soul), Mashiach (Messiah),and techiat ha-maitim (the awakening from the dead) are dealt with in this story. However, these concepts are dealt with at the level appropriate for a young child. Saying Goodbye to Grandpa is a book that should be read to the child, or with the child, by an understanding and sensitive adult who is prepared to deal patiently with the myriad of questions, comments, and fears children have about death. Used properly, the story will serve as a catalyst to help the child explore, together with the parent, his/her new, almost over whelming emotions about death.

Description from Publisher
Barklay and Eve
Barklay and Eve: Sitting Shiva
This selection describes the Jewish tradition of burial and mourning. It includes an explanation of the term "Sitting Shiva" and of the rich symbolism of mourning ribbons, covering mirrors, memorial candles, the meal of consolation, unveiling and other practices of the Jewish Heritage.

Description from Publisher

The Ugly Menorah
On the first Hanukkah since Rachel's grandpa died, Rachel is keeping her grandma company. "Where is your menorah, Grandma?" Racel asks. When Grandma points to a plain wooden board with tin cylinders, Rachel can't help crying, "It's so ugly!" Then Rachel listens as Grandma tells the menorah's history, and Grandpa seems to fill the house again.

Description from Publisher
Daddy's Chair
Daddy's Chair
Lanton succeeds in presenting the concept of a parent's death in a manner that is sensitive, realistic, and appropriate for young children. Although he knows that his father has died of cancer, Michael, the younger of two boys, can't believe that his father won't sit in his special chair again to read stories and play checkers. General concepts necessary to the process of accepting death are explained such as the fact that "good guys die" and that dead means the person won't ever come back. In addition, more specific Jewish customs and traditions observed during the seven days of shiva are discussed. Realistic sepia-toned illustrations convey emotions appropriate to the text, capturing both the family unity and love, as well as the pervasive sense of sadness. A well-done book on a difficult subject.

Description from School Library Journal

The Remembering Box
Nine-year-old Joshua has visited his Grandma Goldina on the Sabbath since he was five. Joshua loves Roy Rogers and other heroes of his day (1942), but he especially loves these times with Grandma. Every week he picks something out of a big trunk this is Grandma's ``remembering box''and each object reminds her of a story of her childhood. Joshua listens in rapt attention to her humorous tales of adventure that evoke ``the old country.'' Then one night Grandma gives Joshua his own box, and in it are some of his favorites from her box. When Grandma does not open her eyes after her reverie, Joshua carries on the tradition of lighting the Sabbath candles before calling his father. Grandma has passed on more than her own memories; she has given him a sense of heritage of his people as well. This warm and loving relationship between a boy and his grandmother is beautifully depicted and reminiscent of Mathis' The Hundred Penny Box (Viking, 1975). Diamond's silhouettes, used for the stories that Grandma tells Joshua, are dramatic, and her meticulously detailed black-and-white illustrations of Joshua and his grandmother are both expressive and moving.

From School Library Journal

Ages 9-12
When a Grandparent Dies
When a Grandparent Dies : A Kid's Own Remembering Workbook for Dealing With Shiva and the Year Beyond
The death of a grandparent is often a child's first encounter with grief. Why did this happen? What should I do? How do I feel? This workbook helps children to participate in the process of mourning, and overcome the awkwardness that often accompanies their participation in grieving rituals.Drawing insights from both psychology and Jewish tradition, When a Grandparent Dies offers children guided exercises, rituals, and places to write, draw, list, create, and express their feelings. Appropriate for children aged 7-11, the workbook moves from the immediacy of shiva through the entire year of mourning.Children and parents who use this book together will have a unique opportunity for sharing as they come to know more about themselves, their family, and the complexities of life and death.

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