Page 143 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 54

Basic HTML Version

fiction curriculum material, now publish fiction—some with Jew­
ish content—and more Christian book publishers are framing their
books to appeal to Jewish, general and Christian markets, for in­
stance Barbour & Co. and Paulist Press.
Orthodox Jewish publishers are still very active in children’s
publishing. Small presses are Aura, Targum, and CIS. Jewish pub­
lishers of “Torah True” Jewish children’s book are publishing
greater numbers than ever. ArtScroll/Mesorah has a very ambi­
tious publishing program for children that includes direct mail.
Books that are appropriate for children of traditional Jewish fami­
lies, 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 book fairs. 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 Re­
sources and Peartree Press, the most astonishing publishing histo­
ry 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 Wilder—who, when they couldn’t find
books that they wanted for their children, wrote, illustrated, pub­
lished, sold, packed and mailed their own. Now they are main­
stream 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 OwnHolidayLibrary
) have been translat­
ed into French and are for sale in France.
Two organizations that have been central in advancing the cause
ofJewish children’s books are the Jewish Book Council and the As­
sociation ofJewish Libraries.
The Jewish Book Council’s establishment of a children’s book
award attracted attention to Jewish children’s books and encour­
Fifty Years ofJewish Children*sBooks