Happy Perfect Picture Book Friday, dear friends. Today’s book is definitely a perfect choice for this month since Hanukkah comes very early this year…it starts at sundown on Sunday, November 28.


Written and illustrated by Ann Koffsky

Published by Apples and Honey Press (2020)

Ages: 2-5+

Themes: Hanukkah, family, ingenuity

Synopsis: From Amazon:

I’m Kayla and this is my dog, Kugel. We are getting ready for Hanukkah. KUGEL! We need the Hanukkah candles tonight, not the Shabbat candles. Oh, no Kugel! Just because the soldiers in the Hanukkah story made a mess doesn’t mean you have to.

Celebrate the story of Hanukkah with Kayla and her mischievous dog, Kugel. And don’t forget to light the menorah and play dreidel!

Why I Love This Book:

  1. I love the sweet humor and loving togetherness revealed in the text.
  2. I love the lively illustrations – I can feel the action on every page.
  3. I love holiday books – this one is a perfect choice for Hanukkah.

And guess what, dear friends!
Author/illustrator, Ann Koffsky is not only talented…she is generous as well…and she is offering a PICTURE BOOK CRITIQUE (up to 1000-word manuscript) as a giveaway to one lucky winner. Make sure you leave a comment to be entered…and please share this post on your social media for extra tickets in the giveaway hat. And remember, the best way to say thank you to an author is to buy their books, review their books, tell friends about their books, and ask your local library to purchase copies of their books.
Here’s a little bit more about Ann and her books:
Ann D. Koffsky is the author and illustrator of more than thirty books, including Creation Colors, Sarah Builds a School, the Kayla & Kugel series, Judah Maccabee Goes to the Doctor and Shabbat Shalom, Hey. Several of her books have been PJ library selections, and her book  Noah’s Swimathon received a Sydney Taylor notable designation from the Association of Jewish Libraries. 

Ann has also created 100+ greeting cards and products for Hallmark Cards, Costco, Great Arrow Graphics and Rite Lite Judaica. Her work has also been featured in The Washington Post, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Jewish Action Magazine, Mishpacha Magazine, and Hadassah Magazine.

Previously, she was also an editor and art director at Behrman House Publishers and an adjunct professor of art at Stern College for Women.
 Ann lives in West Hempstead, NY with her husband and three children.
You can find her Hanukkah book here:
Or here:
And you can print a free coloring page for it here:


Photo courtesy:

WOW! Have you ever tasted challah? It’s one of the most delicious breads in the world. Here’s how one family used the baking activity to teach life skills.
And here’s a link to a great recipe from the New York Times:

I hope you all have a beautiful weekend. I’m participating in a webinar presented by the SCBWI of Israel: CRAFTING NONFICTION THAT GRABS KIDS’ IMAGINATION…a Hanukkah gift to all SCBWI members…and a very reasonable cost for nonmembers.

This webinar is free to ALL SCBWI members…you just need to register:
And anyone who isn’t an SCBWI member can attend for a nominal cost.

Happy Book Birthday: THE BATTLE OF THE BUTTS Plus Giveaway

Welcome! Welcome, everyone! I’m so glad you are here because today we are going to be singing a Merry (because it’s a funny book) Happy Birthday to THE BATTLE OF THE BUTTS by talented author Jocelyn Rish and illustrated by the brilliant David Creighton-Pester. And it’s also a Merry post because Jocelyn stopped by to chat with us AND she’s offering a SIGNED COPY of the book as a Giveaway! WOW!

Written by Jocelyn Rish – Illustrated by David Creighton-Pester – Published by Running Press Kids

Here’s a little bit about the book from the Amazon sales page, although I think you can pretty much figure out what the book is about just from the cover.

Did you know manatees swim using farts? Or that herrings communicate by passing gas?

Butts are used for breathing, eating, swimming, talking, and even killing in the animal kingdom. Focusing on ten different animals and their derrières, and offering fun facts about their origin, habitat, and “posterior power,” this hilarious book captures the wonder of our ecosystem. Which animal has the coolest butt power? That’s up to you to decide! 

ME: Oh my gosh! I know a bunch of kids who are going to LOVE this book! And the lovely Jocelyn was kind enough to stop by to share a little bit about how this book happened. Howdy, Jocelyn! It’s lovely to have you here.

JOCELYN: Hi, Vivian! It’s lovely to be here. Confession: I didn’t read much nonfiction as a kid. Or as an adult. I’ve always loved learning, especially about science and animals, but I always read bite-sized trivia rather than nonfiction books. So when I started writing, of course it was going to be fiction. 
When I took a course through the Institute of Children’s Literature over fifteen years ago, we had to turn in a nonfiction assignment, and mine was terrible, clearly written in the voice of one of the adults from Charlie Brown “Wah Wa Wa Wah Wa Wa.” My poor instructor was like: Okay, clearly you’re a fiction writer, so we’ll focus on that.
And focus on fiction I did. Until I had the idea for BATTLE OF THE BUTTS. And I knew it was THE ONE. So then I figured out how to utilize my fiction-writing skills to make the book funny !and voice-y. And I’m thrilled with how it turned out, and I can’t believe it’s now released into the world today. I hope y’all have as much fun reading it as I did writing it! 

That’s great, Jocelyn! We never know where along our writing journey we will find the ideas that become books. I’m excited that you used the skills you already had to fine-tune this one!

To find out more about Jocelyn:
Jocelyn Rish is a writer and filmmaker who never imagined her cheeky sense of humor would lead to a book about animal butts. When she’s not researching fanny facts, she tutors kids to help them discover the magic of reading. Jocelyn has won numerous awards for her short stories, screenplays, short films, and novels and lives in South Carolina with her booty-ful dogs. Learn more at:

Links:Website: www.jocelynrish.comFacebook:

And remember, dear friends. The best way to thank an author for a book that you love is to: buy a copy, review it, tell friends about it, ask your local library to purchase copies for their collection. Make sure you leave a comment to be entered in the giveaway. Maybe you can share what animal make you smile.

One of Jocelyn’s favorite spreads in the book!

I hope you all have a wonderful week!

MAXINE ROSE SCHUR and STEPHANIE WILDMAN: Will Write for Cookies Plus Giveaway


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