ALMOST A MINYAN
LORI S. KLINE
ARTWORK BY SUSAN SIMON
Genre: Picture Book / Jewish Traditions
Date of Publication: April 5, 2017
Number of Pages: 40
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Will she be the one to take Grandfather’s place?
According to Jewish tradition, a quorum of ten adults is required for public worship. Almost a Minyan traces the story of a young girl whose father and grandfather are regular participants in the town’s minyan – until her beloved Zayde passes on.
Without him, it is even harder for her father to find enough people to make a minyan. Then one day, he brings Zayde’s tefillin to his eldest daughter. A striking new addition to the diverse books movement, Almost a Minyan shares important Hebrew terms and religious concepts through a compelling and beautifully illustrated story for children.
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PRAISE FOR ALMOST A MINYAN:
“A warmhearted introduction to coming-of-age in a worship community.”
“A story of inclusion, belonging and equality. I loved the modern, egalitarian, and traditional values shared in this meaningful story. This is a wonderful modern story for our children and grandchildren!”
Cantor Deborah Katchko-Gray
Congregation Shir Shalom, CT
Founder of the Women Cantors’ Network
“A delightful read for girls and boys alike, this poetic family tale brings a wonderful sentimentality to daily Jewish prayers. Moreover, the beauty of the illustrations contributes additional warmth to this snapshot of Jewish life. A nice addition for all libraries and all ages.”
Rabbi Jimmy Kessler, DHL, DD
Congregation B’nai Israel, Galveston
Almost a Minyan is a beautifully told and illustrated children’s book.
As an adult without much knowledge of Judaism or its practices, I still found the terms to make sense within the context, and there was a wonderful glossary at the back of the book that affirmed the meaning of many of the words.
I think the character’s desire to be an active part of her community, her love of her family, her concern for her father, and her nervousness at doing things right are mostly universal, and translate to people of all backgrounds, making it enjoyable to anyone.
I liked how the illustrations were themed. Watching the same scene as the main character is an onlooker to watching that scene where she is a part of it is a fun comparison.
Thank you to Sociosights press for the free review copy (this does not affect my review).
Lori Sales Kline heralds from Squirrel Hill in Pittsburgh, PA, which hosts a wonderfully rich Jewish community that fueled her love for Jewish tradition, ritual and practice at home and at, “the shul.” Following her undergraduate and graduate work at the University of Texas in Austin, Lori chose to make Austin her home, largely due to the spiritual connection she felt in the close-knit Austin Jewish community. In her spare time, Lori enjoys camping, celebrating Judaism with her husband and son, and friends. She previously authored the children’s picture book, Josiah’s Dreams.
Susan Simon’s illustrations feature expressive children, humor, sweetness, and imaginative whimsy. She has illustrated seventeen children’s books. Susan lives in the Sonoran Desert of southern Arizona, with the saguaro cactuses, the coyotes, the Catalina mountains, and her husband, D.B., a music theory professor at the University of Arizona.
As a very young child, Susan both learned from and fell in love with the goodness and beauty readable in some children’s book illustrations. Without having words for it, she understood very young the power of a picture to inform deeply. When she’s not trying to give her all to share with children that kind of quality in her own work, she enjoys walking her two beloved rescued mutts – Oatcake and Peach – riding her giant green bicycle, and playing her growly old accordion.
One Signed Copy of Almost A Minyan
March 24-April 7, 2017
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