Page 104 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 50

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JEWISH BOOK ANNUAL
tional Jewish families, as well as for all Jewish children are sold
by Enjoy-A-Book Club. It, too, distributes books to its members
by direct mail and through bookfairs. Feldheim is as active and
to a lesser extent, Merkos L’inyonei Chinuch and Judaica Press
continue to publish children’s books.
Although there are other small presses, such as NightinGale
Resources and Peartree Press, the most astonishing publishing
history of what was originally a small private Jewish children’s
press is that of Kar-Ben. It was started in 1975 by two mothers
— Judye S. Groner and Madeline Wikler — who, when they
couldn’t find books that they wanted for their children, wrote,
illustrated, published, sold, packed and mailed their own. Now
they are mainstream publishers who issue up to twelve titles
per year, have a healthy backlist, and a corps of devoted talent.
Kar-Ben’s books are distributed by major chains as well as Jewish
bookstores, and now four of their board books and
My Very
Own Haggadah
(first book of their extensive
My Very Own Holiday
Library)
have been translated into French and are for sale in
France.
PROMOTING JEWISH CHILDREN’S LITERATURE
Two organizations that have been central in advancing the
cause of Jewish children’s books are the Jewish Book Council
and the Association of Jewish Librarians.
The Jewish Book Council’s establishment of a children’s book
award attracted attention to Jewish children’s books and encour­
aged their publication. In 1981 a second award was established,
so that there are now two, one for books written for children
from 8-12, apd one to encourage the publishing of illustrated
books for younger children from 4-8. Over the years, the grow­
ing prominence of the annual National Jewish Book Awards,
established by the Council, is bringing ever more importance
to the field of Jewish book publishing. Such public relations
activities as cooperative advertising with publishers of the
award-winners, the granting of certificates to publishers of
award-winning books, and the arranging of conferences in
which publishers and other book professionals take part all con­
tribute to the field. The Council also actively participates with
the Association of Jewish Libraries in providing guidance to