Kalaniot Books announced that it will release two new children’s picture books for fall 2023:
“The Very Best Sukkah: A Story from Uganda” by Shoshana Nambi and illustrated by Moran Yogev (due out September 6). The work talks about the holiday of Sukkot and the Ugandan Abayudaya community’s annual sukkah contest. The story focuses on Shoshi, whose favorite holiday is Sukkot. She and her brothers love to decorate their sukkah and hope to win. But when a storm destroys some of the sukkahs, they learn that everyone wins when the community works together. The book contains notes about the Abayudaya culture and history, in addition to a glossary that defines unfamiliar vocabulary and elements of the story.
Nambi grew up in the Abayudaya Jewish community in the eastern part of Uganda. When she finishes her rabbinical training in 2024, she will be the first female rabbi in Uganda. This is her debut book. Yogev is an Israeli illustrator who uses woodcut images to complement the warmth of the Abayudaya community and the beauty of Uganda’s landscape.
“Mendel’s Hanukkah Mess Up” by Chana and Larry Stiefel, and illustrated by Daphna Awadish due out October 25). The book tells the story of Mendel, who is always messing up. So, no one is more surprised than he when the rabbi asks him to drive the Mitzvah Mobile through the streets of New York and invite everyone to the Hanukkah Bash. Mendel worries that he will mess up again. As he spreads the joy of the holiday to his neighbors, he learns that mistakes can happen and sometimes that’s not so bad.
The Stiefels use humor to tell their story and show the joy Mendel feels at Hanukkah. Awadish’s illustrations complement these themes. An explanation of the history of Hanukkah and a potato latke recipe are included.