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.
Hey, I could use a book like this! I’m always losing my Yarmulkah!! (only in the morning under my pillow!)
Why is this post going out now when it says deadline is Jan 9th?
Post has been corrected. Thank you!
Would love to win this book for my nephews.
Is the Giveaway ending February 9th perhaps? I would be interested in a copy for my nephews if so and myself. Thank you!
Yes, it has been corrected. Thank you!
I would love to win a copy to donate to a school.
Would love to win this book for my boys
Sounds like a great book. I’d like a copy.
my kids would love this
My son would really love this book! He enjoys reading new books all the time, and since he is a relatively new yarmulke wearer, this book is perfect for him!
Would love this for my students!
would love this for my class!
I would like to win one for MY 3 year old grandson Barunch!
Sounds cute! Would love it!
id love to win my baby turning three on purim 🙂
I would love to win this for my son!
I would like to win. Thank you for the contest! It looks like a cute book.
I would love to have this book so that i could read it to children who are learning to read.
I would like to win this for my kids and their school. Thanks for the contest. This looks like a cute book.
i would really like to win this book for my children.
What a wonderful upsherin gift idea. We had a hard time keeping track of my sons yarmulkas when they were 3. I can’t wait to read the bedtime book as well.
What a great upsherin gift idea. We had a hard time keeping track of my sons yarmulkas when they were 3.
My son will be 3 in a few weeks and we’re giving him an upsharin. Would love to win this book for him! He loves listening to books and will be so excited with this one as he’s just getting a yarmulke! Living out of town it’s not always easy or convinient to get my hands on a jewish book. This would be an amazing surprise for him that I know he will really enjoy!
I want to win this book so I can read it to my grandsons. They will love it.
My grandsons 5 and 2 would love listening to this story!
Totally want this book for my five year old son!
This would be great for my sons!
Would like to win the book so children in my congregation can read the book.
Would love this for my grandson’s upcoming upshirin.
I would love to win this!
I’d love to win this!
would love to win!
Would love to win
I have siblings who would love this book. I hope I can add to their Chinuch with this fun book, be”H.
I would like to, win!
I’d love to win this for my two boys 🙂
I would love to win the book for my.kids!
Hey! Where’s my yarmulka? (Book!)
I’m always misplacing my books.
Would love to win this for my sons. Always looking for new books for them!
Mommy of 5 boys would love to win this!
Sounds like a real kid friendly book! Specially since we are a house of boys knh who seem to constantly have our yarmulkas disappearing! Would love a copy!
Would love to win this book for my son
With a house of 4 boys, they would love this story
I always misplace my door keys and my cellphone!
i would love to win this for my kids.
I would love to win a copy for my kids.
Sounds great! Would love to win it
Would love the book for my 3 year old!!!
BARUCH HaShem I was just blessed recently with my first nephew and would love to give this to him as a gift to read when our family comes to visit from Eretz yisrael this summer!
I love the fact that we now know it’s not just us always losing it!
I would love to win-I have 1 daughter so far but even she would enjoy this book:)
I’d love to enter this contest – missing yarmulkes abound in my house!
Sons name is Baruch. He just turned three and he’s always loosing his Yamukah!
Would LLLOOOOOVVVVVEEEEEEE to win this book! My son and nephew’s would really enjoy reading it!
Would love to win this book for my boys!
My almost-7-year-old always is losing his kipahs. I’d love to get this book for him!
Would love this book! It described my 3 boys and heir disappearing yarmulkas exactly!
We have 4 boys with dissapearing yarmulkes, and love books! we’d love to win 🙂
I would love to win this book for my grandsons. I know that they would really enjoy it. Thanks, david
I’d love to win a copy, this book sounds great, my boys are always misplacing their yarmulkas. Love your first poem too!
would love to win!
We have a “Yours, Mine, & Ours” family. The “ours” is 2. The others range in age from 11- 21. We have begun the journey into Messianic Judaism is past few years & would love this book to train up the 2-year-old! 😉
Would love to win this!
thank you for a great giveaway. I would love to win.
Would love to win this for my grandson!!
We would love this; one of my sons lost his kippah this morning and only found it when his Tatty stood up…
Would love to win! thanks so much for the contest! 🙂
my 3 year old would love this book!
We want to win a copy! We is my family, including our 3 year old twin boys! Yay!
HOPE TO WIN THIS FOR MY SON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! HE WILL LLLOOOOVVVEEEE IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!
The Author is so right in that this is a Universal problem for both parents and Boys. My son is always losing his and saying is has taken off and hid. What a get book. Hope to win but i am sure i will be getting a copy whether for my son or nephew for his Upshernish!
I would LOVE a free copy!
I run an Avos Ubanim in Philadelphia. I would love to win this book to give away as a prize
I would love to win this book for my boys!
Would love to win
I could def use this book in my life! (For my classroom and at home.)
I’d love to win this book to share with my sons, and also to help them appreciate how everyone loses things sometimes but there are things we can do about it =)!
Love flying yarmulkas
What a sweet story idea! I’d love to win this book.
my 2 year old will be upsherin in the summer, would love to have this book for him!
great book idea! Oh how we could benefit from this! I just love the lessons in Jewish children’s books!
Would love to win Baruch and his dissapering yarmulka
Me want one pls
I’d love to win a copy for my grandkids!
Perfect for my boys!
Would love to win Boruch and His Disappearing Yarmulka for my kids. They’d love it!
My kids would love a great new Jewish book!
My 3 year old keeps losing his kippot! 🙂
Great Book idea! My son would love it!
We have 2 boys and would love to win!
This is a great book. My 7 year old could really relate. He loved the story and pictures. Hope more books come out by this author
Would lo own this amazing book. I read it to my class and the kids were never so quiet!
i would love this book for my son Baruch Binyamin who currently struggles with this exact thing!
Would love to win this book and add it to my son’s library.
i wanna win for my son!
i would love to win this for my son!