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Taste Test

We all love personality-based quizzes. Here’s a perfect one for the people of the book: What does your favorite Jewish children’s book say about you?

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(Len Small)

Maybe, as a kid, you read a certain book over and over again. Maybe, as a parent, you find your progeny obsessing over modern-day classics the way you once loved When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit. But what does your favorite Jewish children’s book say about you? Take our psychology quiz, then add your own favorites (and what they reveal about their fans) in the comments!

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This is HILARIOUS and Baxter is honored to be in such esteemed company. Though to be honest, Baxter is not himself much of a reader.

I, on the other hand, love all of these books. Most especially The Latke. Though I *am* rather fond of people who mysteriously appear slightly wavy.

Loved this. Any thoughts on my childhood obsession with this book?

For those of us who picked Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins (a dream-come-true-duet of Trina Shart Hyman’s illustrations and Eric Kimmel’s text), I bet these two books are shelved nearby: Gershon’s Monster (also by Eric Kimmel, illustrated by Jon J. Muth) and Golem (a Caldecott winner with story and pictures by David Wisniewski). Wonderfully creepy, all.
Thanks for the fun Taste Test, Marjorie!

aviva says:

Wow. I only know the Judy Blume book. I spent many hours (in the 1970s) reading the “All of a Kind Family” books.

ken says:

Where is the Giving Tree on this list. I can’t think of book that reminds me of my temple’s Sunday School more.

Gordon Schochet says:

What happened to TELL ME A MITZI?

BetsyG says:

What about All of a Kind Family (by Sydney Taylor)? This is the series that made a nice Protestant girl like me want to be Jewish!

Pamela Schachter says:

Sydney Talyor and the All of a Kind Family series are important children’s books. They served as an introduction to American Jewish history and culture for their readers, mostly girls. And for this Jewish girl, growing up in Pasadena, California, it was wonderful to find and read books that reflected my family history.

Chana Batya says:

The only one I read was the Chosen, which I read over and over.

All of a Kind Family was my absolute favorite. I identified with the middle child who always got into trouble. I may have become a librarian because of this book. I read it almost every night for a year.

Amy says:

Hi, Elaine!
Amy at McA

chloe says:


ish l’reieihu

Deborah says:

Love this. I concur with those who mentioned the All of a Kind Family series. That might mean we appreciate history, like city living, yearned for multiple siblings, and love public libraries. Also, strangely, I recently purchased all the books from various used book sources – my childhood copies were long gone. And, also coincidentally, just this week I bought a copy of Tell Me a Mitzi from Alibris – it’s out of print but a classic and favorite of mine!

Ellen says:

Where oh where are the All of a Kind Family books?!?!?! My faves! Liking them means I am a die-hard New Yorker, into history, girl power, have a sense of humor.

Debbie S says:

If your favorite Jewish children’s book is “All of a Kind Family”: You wish you had four sisters. You fantasize that with the proper sense of imagination, you could make chores fun and bedtime an adventure. You are a romantic, albeit a nerdy one (the star of your favorite love story is a library lady). And perhaps you are either a responsible eldest child, a rebellious middle child, a worrier, a dreamer, or the baby of the family (or a devoted reader who has revisited this book again and again at different stages of life, discovering bits of yourself in each of Mama’s girls).

Debbie S says:

p.s. You think “scarlet fever” sounds much more alluring than “strep throat.”

Penny says:

Another vote here for “All of a Kind Family”!!

cindi says:

All-Of-A-Kind Family, hands down.
Although I also adored loved Harriet the Spy; I liked to think that she could have been Jewish. And she was eventually played by Michele Trachtenberg…

I too am obsessed with All-of-a-Kind family! But I did a whole feature on it a few months ago, so I took it (and Anne Frank) out of the running. I’m not sure whether I can include a link in a comment ( but if it doesn’t show up, just do quick search for the piece.

kag1989 says:

I too grew up with All of a Kind Family. I also really enjoyed all of the Chaim Potak books (Davida’s Harp)… my favorite was My Name is Asher Lev.

I collect children’s books and I have two special genre’s: Alphabet books and Books with Jewish themes, stories, illustrations.

I also loved Carp in the Bathtub as a girl and I loved every book Judith Viorst ever wrote. I went to school with her kids and loved, loved, loved “When I’m six, I’ll fix Anthony” and “The Tenth Good Thing About Barney.”

Thank you for taking me down memory lane…so little time, so many wonderful books to read!

I keep meaning to write about The Tenth Good Thing About Barney. WONDERFUL book. I think the best Jewish-y one on grief and loss …

Jen says:

What about The Mouse in the Matzah Factory??

Marni says:

I’m SO excited that “Starring Sally J. Freedman as Herself” made the list! (I don’t know that my decor style is vintage bordello, but I do have a thing for chandeliers) I read this wonderful book about an adventurous little Jewish girl over and over again when I was a kid. I may have even loved it more than “Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret?” All hail Judy Blume.

kathy says:

Clearly I need to read The Latke Who Couldn’t Stop Screaming.

Gayle says:

It wasn’t a jellyfish. It was a MAN O WAR. And it traumatized me!

Maureen says:

What about where the wild things are?

Marni says:

Do we know that Max was Jewish in Where the Wild Things Are? Are we to assume so because Sendak was Jewish or because Max’s mother ultimately couldn’t bear sending her son to bed hungry?

Eileen P. says:

I love all these books and agree that the All-of-a-Kind-Family books are wonderful, but what about K’tonton? I loved reading about him when I was a little girl, and as a Judaic librarian, I still read the stories to the classes that come into the library. He is always popular.

JCarpenter says:

I’m a bit mystified at The Chosen being listed among children’s books. Definitely one for a high school (used it with freshmen many years) or college student; YAL—young adult literature—is a separate category; Potok doesn’t quite compare with Lemony Snickets.
Great list, otherwise; have most of titles.

Hi Eileen! I left out K’tonton because I did a feature on it (it’s here:’tonton-time/) — again, I wanted to spread the love a little! I deliberately had a wide (and perhaps random) mix of picture books and chapter books, recent books and classics. It’s like literary cholent.

Naomi says:

HA. I’d pick Molly’s Pilgrim and that actually describes me rather well. I had to watch that godawful American Girl movie on bullying because my younger daughter wanted to Share the Experience plus we were out visiting the in-laws so there wasn’t much else to do, and at some point I turned to my daughter and informed her that unless a dragon was coming to eat the Mean Girl sometime before the final scene, I was NOT going to find this movie satisfying. (Spoiler: no dragon.)

Hee, Naomi!!

jzzy55 says:

Outlier here — I did not care for the All of a Kind Family stories. They struck me as treacly and sentimentalized. It bugged me no end that the only books about Jewish kids (or girls) that I knew of, I disliked. Sadly Harriet the Spy is most definitely not Jewish. Her parents are Upper East Side cocktail swilling WASPS. I’m so glad there are more options now. Anybody have anything good to say about the Jewish American Girl doll?


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Taste Test

We all love personality-based quizzes. Here’s a perfect one for the people of the book: What does your favorite Jewish children’s book say about you?

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