I don't review books for children. Not, that I am saying I don't enjoy it. But the chance never came about, till the publisher of The Cats in the Doll Shop asked. I am glad she did. I enjoyed reading this chapter book.
This is a story about a Jewish, little girl, named Anna, and her two sisters. They live above a doll shop that her parents own. One day, her parents tell her, her cousin from Russia will be coming to live with them.
In the mean time, Anna spies a neighbor, harming a mother cat, and her babies.
These are the two intersecting conflicts in the story. As a adult, I enjoyed reading this story. I could see the story unfolding vividly. I liked the historical background, of the Jewish experience in NYC, immigration life, living above the doll shop, and the Jewish holidays of Rosh Hashanah, and Chanakah,
I thought the story, was so wholesome, and charming. How Anna cared about her cousin, and the mother cat, and her kittens. Anna had such empathy for both of them being not wanting. Where Anna's sister did not want any part of it. Just loved the story, how it was put together.
There is a glossary for Jewish terms, and historical references in the back of the book as well to explain the story.
I don't have young children any longer, but a 21 year old son. But, my niece who is 10 years old I would recommend to my sister-in-law. This would be a nice book to give as a gift for Chanakah.
Thank you for allowing me to review.
I saw this recipe on the Jewish Forward. It is perfect, to try out when all the restaurants are closed for Christmas. I am going to try it. We Jews, have a tradition to go out for Chinese, since nothing is usually open for Christmas. I think I am going to try it out. I found this on the blog, the Jew, and the Carrot. There is a video, that explains it all. Great, for me since I am more visual for instructions. Happy Chanukah!!!
Chicken Soup Dumplings Soup Filling
1 cup chicken broth
2 tablespoons water
1 package unflavored gelatin (If you don’t have access to a supermarket that carries kosher gelatin, it is available online.)
1) Bring broth to a boil
2) In a separate bowl, combine gelatin with water
3) Combine the broth and gelatin and transfer to an 8-inch square dish
4) Refrigerate for about 5 hours, or until it solidifies. This can be made the night before. Wrapper
2 cups flour + more for dusting
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 cup each boiling water and cold water
1) Combine the flour and salt in a large bowl. Add hot water 1/3 at a time, stirring constantly, until you have a course meal mixture. Add cold water 1/3 at a time, gathering mixture until it forms a ball.
2) Knead dough on a floured board for 20 minutes (adding more flour is necessary to prevent sticking) until dough is smooth. Cover with a damp towel and let sit for at least 20 minutes. This can be made the night before.
3) Roll out 1 1/4 inch balls of dough to 3- 3 1/2 inch circles, making sure to avoid the center of the discs while you’re rolling. The edges should be as thin as possible, while the center should be slightly thicker. Meat Filling
3/4 pound ground chicken
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons rice vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
2 stalks finely minced scallions
1/3 cup chicken broth
Combine all ingredients To shape dumplings
1) Fill each wrapper with about 2 teaspoons of meat and 1 teaspoon of soup filling.
2) Using your thumb and pointer finger, start at one end of the wrapper and then gather the edges, little by little, to form small folds and pinch them into the center.
3) Steam on a layer of blanched cabbage placed in a steamer for 10-15 minutes.
Serve with a sauce that is two parts Chinese black vinegar and one part soy sauce poured over freshly grated ginger.
Tonight is the start of the Jewish holiday, Happy Chanakah to everyone!!! I always love the smell and sound of the Latkes sizzling in the oil. My stomach is started to rumble already, with the anticipation of the the latkes, and being surrounded by family watching my son light the menorah. That is really what the holiday is about the traditions, sounds, and surrounded by family.
I am excited about the change on the Jewish Book Council's website. It is much more user friendly. Giving tips for book clubs, and book recommendations and reviews on their site. It is also has many book links and resources. I wanted to share this with my readers. Here is the link if you are interested.
Home in the
Morning By Mary Glickman Courtesy of Open Road Media
the Morning takes place in the turbulant years of the 1950's and 60's, in
Guilford, Mississippi. The Sassaport's, are a well to do Jewish southern family
living in Mississippi. Jackson, is the eldest son, and is overly protected
by his mother, a genteel southern lady.
Living in the south during the
1960's was horrible enough, but in this story the divide of
White, Black, Christian or Jewish was worse. There were hazing, beatings, civil
rights movement, and anything to cause the divide of White and Black. He
becomes friends with a Afro-American boy, named Lil Bo'key.
In the house
is Katherine Marie, a Afro American housekeeper. They become close friends. He's
friend Lil Bo'key and Katherine Marie become boyfriend and girlfriend.
Jackson, a reform Jew eventually does leave Mississippi, to go to
college at Yale University. He meets Stella Godwin a Orthodox Jew. They eventual
marry and move back to the south. Where he rebuilds his friendships with
Jackson, has a younger brother that is coddled by his
mother. He is troubled, lazy, and is often in trouble for one thing or another.
But, he's mother always seems to help him out of the trouble he gets out of by
paying someone off.
My Review: I read this novel, because the author is from Charleston,
SC. Not too far from my house.
I picked up the novel, Home in the Morning because
I liked the synopsis of the Jewish Southern experience during the 1960's. Has to
be a great read, right. Sorry to say it was a let
it took me about 100 pages in to finally connect with the characters, and
finally understand what was going on.
Finally after the 100 pages, I was captivated by
the story. I kept wanting to flip the pages, it was getting intense. But, by the
end of the book, what a let down. I am not going to tell you, just in case you
may want to give it a try. I did not like the ending it ended
think the author had a good story, but it just did not go anywhere. I really
enjoyed one part of the story when the cousin, Lil Mo and Jackson ganged up and
threatened his brother. I wish the author had done more about this part of the
book. Also if she wrote about the Jewish Southern experience during the 60's,
and Jewish-black divide. This would have enriched the novel, she did snipets
but nothing more.
I really wanted to like this book, because of the
reasons stated above. I really cared though for the characters except for
Jackson's brother. There are many other readers that did enjoy reading this. I
would still give it three stars.
I will be blogging about Jewish books, mainly fiction. I will have book reviews, book news, and Jewish news that promotes the Jewish authors. And of course any happenings in Temple Emanu-El of Myrtle Beach. If you are looking for a temple in Myrtle Beach. Visit Temple Emanu-El, a conservative temple at http://www.mbsynagogue.org/ We are a warm and friendly shul. Our spiritual leader, Rabbi Avi our and his wife Mira are friendly and kind, friendly and very sympathetic to each of our members. We are a small shul but that only adds to our uniqueness and our shuls warmth. If you are ever in the Myrtle Beach area come, and stop for a visit.
If you are looking for info. on the secular side of books you can visit my other blog, http://susansliterarycafe.blogspot.com. You are welcome to leave a comment. And thanks for stopping by.