Page 105 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 50

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POSNER / FIFTY YEARS OF JEWISH CHILDREN’S BOOKS
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synagogue, school and center libraries and in accrediting them.6
This creates a larger market for Jewish children’s books.
The founding of the Association of Jewish Libraries in 1965
was a positive development in the progress of Jewish children’s
books. In addition to its promotion of new school, synagogue
and community center Judaica libraries and its subsequent guid­
ance of these libraries, it cooperates with the Jewish Book Coun­
cil in accrediting libraries according to three incremental stand­
ards: basic, intermediate, and advanced. The Association also
has its own book awards program, and a manuscript award.
Through its Sydney Taylor Book Awards, it presents up to four
annual Jewish children’s book awards: The Sydney Taylor
Award for the Best Older Children’s book, The Sydney Taylor
Award for the Best Younger Children’s Book, The Sydney Tay­
lor Body-of-Work Award, and the Sydney Taylor Manuscript
Award.7
CONCLUSIONS
There is still a large, untapped market for Jewish children’s
books. We have a long way to go in apprising non-afflliated
and marginally Jewish families of the availability of children’s
literature with Jewish content. Many assimilated Jews are still
unaware of it and cannot identify trade books with Jewish con­
tent, except for Jewish holiday books. Even worse, many ed­
ucators and teachers in Jewish day and supplementary schools
are not familiar with the books, especially those published by
trade publishers. Not only can they not identify appropriate
titles, they do not know how to integrate the story into the cur­
riculum. Publishers need to call upon the talents of librarians
to create free handbooks that suggest ways of “choosing and
6. Accreditation forms are available from the Association o f Jewish Libraries,
330 Seventh Avenue, 21st Floor, New York, New York 10001.
7. A list o f children’s books that have won Association o f Jewish Libraries
awards is available from the Association o f Jewish Libraries.