Fall 2023 books form Apples & Honey Press

Fall books for 2023 from Apples and Honey Press feature holiday stories for Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Sukkot; a new version of the creation story that centers Eve’s experience; a look at Shabbat in the Ugandan Abuyadaya community; a quiet bedtime sh’ma experience for very young children; a story of Jewish conversos in Portugal in the 1500’s; and a more in depth look at David’s victory over Goliath.

Tzimmes for Tzipporah

Picture book for ages 4-7. ISBN 978-168115-623-1

This food and farm-focused story for Rosh Hashanah is sweetened by illustrations by Christine Battuz that are full of cheerful colors and textured patterns. Award-winning author Megan Hoyt helps readers explore both culturally specific Rosh Hashanah practices and life on a small family farm, while providing a universal message of community and tradition.

Big Bad Wolf’s Yom Kippur

Picture book for ages 6-8. ISBN 978-168115-606-4

With the help of friends and some reflections on apologies, forgiveness, and community during the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur, even a Big Bad Wolf might find the heart to change his ways. Sharp, sly illustrations Martin Morón envelop by this gently fractured fairy tale mash-up in humor and warmth, while the story by award winning teacher David Sherrin includes many details that help explain Yom Kippur practices to young readers as they discover we can all return to our best selves, beginning with kindness and heartfelt apologies.

The Moving Box Sukkah

Picture books for ages 5-7. ISBN 978-168115-627-9

A boy and his mom find a creative way to make a new apartment in a new city feel a bit more like home as they celebrate the Jewish fall holiday of Sukkot in this sensitive story by Leah Rachel Berkowitz that features actual midrashic examples of the unusual places and ways to build a sukkah. Illustrations by Sharon Vargo. An author note provides background information about Sukkot for those who may be unfamiliar with the holiday.

Kayla and Kugel’s Silly Sukkot

Picture book for ages 3-6. ISBN 978-168115-626-2

Kayla and her mischievous dog Kugel are back to celebrate the Jewish holiday of Sukkot and explain it to young children in this fourth book in the Kayla and Kugel series by author-illustrator Ann Koffsky. An end note from the author further clarifies details of this harvest time celebration, with its emphasis on giving thanks and welcoming friends, and includes suggestions for creating decorations for a sukkah. 

Eve and Adam and Their Very First Day

Picture book for ages 4-7. ISBN 978-168115-625-5

The biblical story of creation told with humor from Eve’s perspective by Leslie Kimmelman explores what it might have been like emotionally for the world’s first two people to experience everything for the very first time—seeing and naming the animals, feeling the rain, fearing the night, becoming excited by the stars, and having faith that they are not alone. Lush illustrations by Ukrainian refugee Irina Avgustanovich bring the wonder of a new world to life. And children will enjoy finding the recurring dog and cat characters throughout the story.

The Giant, The Slingshot, and The Future King

Easy Reader Illustrated Chapter book for ages 6-8. ISBN 978-168115-621-7

This easy-reader chapter book by Tammar Stein expands on the story of David and Goliath known to so many children and follows David on his path of learning and practice as he develops the skills that will make him a courageous warrior, a talented musician, a faithful friend, and, eventually, king. Vivid, action packed illustrations by Dodo Maeder enrich the drama and humor of the story.  A note at the end explains archeological evidence about the actual reign of David, and an author’s note discusses the persistence and patience David needed to achieve his goals. 

The Inside Name

Illustrated chapter book for ages 6-9. ISBN978-168115-619-4

Spotlighting the Sephardic Jewish converso culture in 1500's Portugal, this illustrated historical fiction chapter book by Randi Sonenshine centers the story of a young Portuguease-Jewish converso who can’t even use his real name—his Hebrew name—outside the walls of his house. An end note explains the lives of Portuguese conversos, how the Inquisition came from Spain to Portugal in 1536, making life even more dangerous for them, and the role of Gracia Nasi Mendes, a wealthy and influential converso who used her large sailing fleet and her international connections to help families flee. Unfamiliar terms are highlighted throughout in a running glossary while watercolor illustrations by Gina Capaldi help bring a young boy and his family fully into focus for young readers.

Miryam's Dance

Picture book for ages 5-8. ISBN 978-168115-608-8

Ugandan artist John Baptist Tumuhaise brings a Jewish Ugandan village to life in this story of a young girl who is trying to help get ready for Shabbat but is distracted by distant drummers, and the lure of dance. Authors Kerry Olitzky and Rachel Silker include a glossary that explains the names of ritual foods, Ugandan terms, and landmarks used in the story. Includes a note from Uganda’s Chief Rabbi.

Listen Sh’ma

Picture book for ages 2-4   ISBN 978-168115-611-8

From bath time to story time to cuddling, young children get ready for bed with loving parents and caregivers. Poetic text by Rabbi Alyson Solomon (author of Thank you Modeh Ani) prompts children to connect the sounds of bedtime to the Sh'ma prayer, traditionally said at bedtime to express love, peace, and the Oneness of God. Illustrator Bryony Clarkson has created babies and children of all sizes, shapes, ethnicities, and abilities in a gentle color scheme that matches bedtime quiet.

The Sh'ma is one of the oldest and most foundational prayers of the Jewish religion. It implores us to listen. This gentle introduction for young children helps them sound out the very beginning of the prayer and to begin to glimpse its meaning. By slowing down the first word—shhh, mmm, ahhh—this quiet book helps them hear the sounds of the world around us and within us.