These contemporary tales offer a modern light on what it means to be a Jew

By Laurel Snyder

With sophisticated art and a contemporary tone, these books are written for today’s generation of kids. The books jump and sing. They offer silliness and fresh bright voices, as well as inclusive ideas about faith, family, culture, and the evolving Jewish world. These books look to our past, but they do so with a little more distance, and sometimes even a critical eye.

five little gefiltes dave horowitz
Five Little Gefiltes By Dave Horowitz

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This parody of “five little ducks” is simply the most fun new Jewish picture book I know of. When five little gefilte fish run away to explore New York, Mama Gefilte is beside herself. (“What tsouris! You never write! You never call!”) One by one, the gefiltes disappear, until Mama Gefilte, heartbroken, sits down on a bench. But of course, “they all came back cause each was a mentsch.” The art–full of humorous references to Jewish culture and a wacky cartoon style–makes this a perfect read for children as young as two, who will memorize the simple rhymes quickly.

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