Here’s a tough question: What do sleepy kids (and their parents) love more than one of Shmuel Blitz’s bedtime story books?
And here’s your easy answer: Four story collections in one amazing volume!
With over 400,000 (!) copies of his children’s books in print, Shmuel Blitz is one of the Jewish world’s bestselling authors. We caught up with our favorite bedtime storyteller to talk about his newest book, The Big Book of Jewish Bedtime Story Books.
AS: Since your first “Bedtime Stories” book came out in 1996, you’ve literally helped tens of thousands of children get to sleep. What’s the secret of your bedtime books’ enduring charm?
SB: If an author is boring enough, he can put anyone to sleep. Just ask my kids!
Actually, these are mostly classic Jewish stories from our thousands of years of history. There is so much to choose from. There is no end to Jews telling stories. Some I remember from my parents and grandparents. Many, I just heard and saw in a number of different places. And every child loves a good story.
AS: Did you “test” the stories on your own children? What were their favorites? And what is yours?
SB: Yes, I’ve always read stories to my children. And I also told stories every Shabbos morning to the children in my shul.
When my whole family had to stay in our sealed room during the First Gulf War, I remember telling stories through the night about my summer camp experiences. It was very relaxing for everyone during a difficult time.
AS: Many of the stories are funny. Tell us a little about the power of humor, particularly for children.
SB: Humor is a part of what has kept the Jewish people content and happy for thousands of years. When we can laugh, it’s easier to get through any difficult time. Hashem commands us to be sameach — happy. It is a basic principle for both adults and children.
AS: What are the four books included in this mega-edition volume?
SB: A Treasury of Jewish Bedtime Stories, Bedtime Stories to Make You Smile, Bedtime Stories of Jewish Values, and A Treasury of Shabbos Bedtime Stories.