If you have little boys in your life – whether it’s a son, grandson, nephew, or anyone else – you’re probably very familiar with the concept of the disappearing yarmulka. Rivke Gerstenblit, seasoned writer and mother-of-boys decided to do something about the problem. Her new children’s book, Baruch and His Disappearing Yarmulka, tackles this challenge and teaches an easy solution in a fun way.
Rivke sat down with The Official ArtScroll blog to discuss her new book. Scroll passed the interview for your chance to win a free copy!
What made you think of the idea for Baruch and His Disappearing Yarmulke?
My three-year-old kept losing his yarmulke. I just put myself into his head; with and without yarmulke. After I wrote the book, I had two more boys and they also constantly lost their yarmulkes. It seems to be a universal problem.
How long did it take you to write this book?
Writing the initial book took very little time. Probably less than an hour. The best material I have written comes to me quickly. If I have to work on the initial draft too long, then the final work is just not as good. Perfecting the rhythm and obsessing over word choices took years. Not continuously, but I would go back to it and make small changes. I was quite busy with other things — like raising the children — and had no sense of urgency. There were years that I didn’t even look at it.
What made you decide to finally submit your manuscript?
My family, especially my parents, would always ask me when I was going to do something with my yarmulke book. And I always answered with some variation of “One day….” I don’t really know what I was waiting for. Then someone asked me about it in front of my ten year old daughter and she asked, “what book?!” So I read it to her and she started asking me (quite often) to submit it to a publisher. She was pretty persistent. I finally bit the bullet.
When and how did you get started as a writer?
When I was about five my older sister was putting me to bed and I suddenly recited the following rhyme, “I wash the windows, I wash the floors, and on the way I shut the doors.” That was my first piece. I passed my friend so many humorous (or so I thought) poems during class in that after graduation she gave me a booklet she had made of them. I started writing for a local magazine about six years ago, and shortly after that I started writing for Binah magazine. Between my cleaning poem and my professional writing career, I’ve been writing my entire life.
Why is the name of the main character Baruch?
My three-year-old son Baruch inspired this book. This just happened to be fourteen years ago. Baruch is currently seventeen,kein ayin hara.
Have you gotten any feedback on your book from readers?
My family and friends are always sending me pictures of their children reading the book. I love getting those pictures. I love when people tell me they go through the same thing with their sons and they needed a book just like this, and I love getting excited calls and texts from people I know. The support is amazing. I didn’t expect it. I didn’t think it would be a big deal for anyone other than myself, but I see that it is. I feel so touched hearing how much people enjoy my book.
What’s next? Any new books on the horizon?
My second children’s book about bedtime is scheduled for an upcoming release by ArtScroll – stay tuned for details and the release date!
To enter the giveaway for a copy of Baruch and His Disappearing Yarmulke:
Leave a comment on this post letting us know that you would like to win!
**Giveaway ends on Monday, February 9th at 11:59 pm eastern time. Winner will receive one copy of Baruch and His Disappearing Yarmulke. Prize can be shipped within the USA. Winner will be chosen randomly and notified via email. Valid email address must be provided to claim prize. Limit one entry per person.
Scroll to the bottom of this post for your chance to win one of ArtScroll’s popular new releases! Chanukah is just over a week away, and now’s the time to shop for chanukah gifts for your whole family! With ArtScroll’s … Continue reading
Scroll down to the end of the post for instructions on entering a giveaway for a free copy of Kids Cooking Made Easy!
This summer, keep your kids busy in an educational and fun way: introduce them to the kitchen!
My mother always said that hungry children are cranky children. Bored, hungry, cranky…these are the less exciting aspects of having children on vacation for three months. But we have a solution: introduce the kids to the joys of cooking with Kids Cooking Made Easy!
There’s a great educational aspect to cooking and following a recipe. As explained by the authors, Leah Schapira and Victoria Dwek. “Kids Cooking Made Easy is a picky eater solution,” says Victoria Dwek. “Kids either become more open-minded when they see how something is prepared, or they learn to prepare their own favorites.” Aside from kitchen skills, learning to cook has hidden educational benefits. As Leah Schapira points out, “Children learn about math and fractions when following a recipe.” They also learn to read and follow instructions – all while having a good time!
Chock full of exciting summer recipes such as Teriyaki Beef Sticks, Peach and Mango Salad and Creamsicle Sorbet and fun crafts and edible activities such as Edible Sand Art and Homemade Button Candy, this book will be a delight for your children and a lifesaver (or at least sanity saver!) for you.
Click here to purchase Kids Cooking Made Easy.
Here’s a sample recipe for you and your kids to enjoy. Make sure to scroll past the recipe for a chance to win a copy of Kids Cooking Made Easy!
Click image to enlarge, or click here to download a printable version of Teriyaki Beef Sticks
To enter the giveaway for a copy of Kids Cooking Made Easy:
Comment on this post telling us: What is the first dish you remember cooking?
**Giveaway ends on Friday, July 11th at 11:00 am eastern time. Winner will receive one copy of Kids Cooking Made Easy. Prize can be shipped within the USA. Winner will be notified via email. Valid email address must be provided to claim prize. Limit one entry per person.
Want to get your children excited about the Parashah? Would you like to teach them important life lessons in an enjoyable and relatable manner? Well, we’ve got a simple solution for you: stories. Good stories, to be precise. Stories My Grandfather Told Me is chock full of ’em, arranged in order of the weekly Parashah.
Enjoyable? Check. Educational? Check. Free? Check! This week we’re giving you a taste of the timeless tales told in our classic series, Stories My Grandfather Told Me for our free weekly download.
Click here ->> to view, print or download this Free Weekly Torah Download – Stories My Grandfather Told Me Parashas Chukas
If school just ended for the year, and you’re already dealing with the cries of “mommy! I’m bored!” don’t worry. We’re here to help. During the summer months while your children are not learning in school every day. keep them busy and keep them learning at the same time with ArtScroll’s fabulous children’s books and our full line of products for kids of every age. Here’s a sampling of our favorite options!
1) Kids Cooking Made Easy: filled with delicious and kid-friendly recipes, fun craft ideas, and as many cooking tips as your kids might need, this hot new cookbook will keep your kids in the kitchen and out of your hair!
2) Kosher by Design Kids in the Kitchen: This classic best-selling cookbook from celebrity kosher chef Susie Fishbein is chock full of fun recipes that your kids will love to cook – and eat.! After all, we all know that bored kids quickly turn into hungry kids!
3) Imagine If…: This latest children’s book from ArtScroll has been getting rave reviews – from the children “This book is so funny! I love it!” to the parents, “I think I enjoyed reading it even more than my kids!” everyone is loving the fun rhymes and adorable illustrations.
4) Crafting Jewish: What better way to keep your children from kvetching about how bored they are than a book full of craft ideas and inspiration, specifically for the Jewish calendar? Watch out though – you might find yourself joining in!
5) Match the Mitzvah Memory Game: Combine a classic favorite matching game with Jewish themes and lessons, and you’ve got the perfect game to keep your kids busy this summer. Bonus – it’s small and easy to pack, so bring it on your family vacation and pull it out when you need a few quiet moments.
6) Search For the Stones: Award-winning children’s book author Shmuel Blitz recommends this story for an exciting and enjoyable read – for the kids or the grownups! Over 20 other books by Shmuel Blitz will ensure that your kids have plenty of entertaining and educational reading material this summer.
7) Alef Bais Cookie Cutter Set: Turn your cookie baking adventures into a learning experience by having your kids form words out of cookies. Then they can literally “eat their words!” This set is great to have around for birthdays, upsherins, bar mitzvahs and other simchahs as well!
8) Brachot Blastoff Computer Game: If your kids are going to take some downtime at the computer after a day in the sun, make sure they learn something while they are there. This game teaches children about the proper brachos for foods. We have some other great Jewish software on our site as well, so make sure to browse the whole selection.
9) Touched by a Story for Children: Love the touching stories of Rabbi Yechiel Spero? Your kids will enjoy them too, with this Touched by a Story for Children series. Written especially for them, and featuring wonderful illustrations, this is a book that will captivate and entertain – all while teaching important lessons.
10) Middos Series These classics will give you a taste of nostalgia as you read your kids the same books you grew up on! With best-selling favorites such as Eli and His Little White Lie or Arrogant Ari Learns a Lesson, you can teach your kids good middos and keep them entertained, all at the same time!