Stampler Sampler!

I am very happy to be part of the Picture Book Blog Tour for Ann Redisch Stampler. One of her previous picture books is already a favorite: The Rooster Prince of Breslov, Clarion, 2010. Ann also writes young adult fiction – click HERE to read about her book Where It Began, Simon Pulse,  2012.

Ann prefers to read printed books – and she likes anything chocolate. Read more about the author in an interview at Shelf-Employed.

You can also enter to win the following books – click here: A rafflecopter giveaway


Title: The Wooden Sword
Author: Ann Redisch Stampler (click on the name to find all her PB titles)
Illustrator: Carol Liddiment
Publisher: Albert Whitman & Company, 2012
Age Level: 5-8yrs
Themes: folklore, Afghanistan, rulers (Shah), Jews
Summary: (from the publisher) Disguised in servant’s clothes, an Afghani shah slips out of his palace to learn more about his people. When he encounters a poor Jewish shoemaker full of faith that everything will turn out just as it should, the shah grows curious. Vowing that no harm will befall the poor man, he decides to test that faith, only to find that the shoemaker’s cheerful optimism cannot be shaken. But the biggest challenge of the poor man’s life is yet to come!

What do I think? I love a good folktale, and this delight is new to me (hint for the lovely librarians at my library: time to put the folktales-rack back!). The Wooden Sword puts the reader through a range of emotions. Every time the shah pushes this poor servant, the reader is filled with worry and wonder, and each time pleasantly amazed at the servant’s courage and strength…and wit! The illustrations add so much about Jewish and Afghani culture to the story, that I know it will raise interesting questions from young readers. I almost wish an object-identification-map were included for some of the spreads!


The Cats on Ben Yehuda Street_tn

Title: The Cats on Ben Yehuda Street
Author: Ann Redisch Stampler
Illustrator: Francesca Carabelli
Publisher: Kar-Ben Publishing, 2013
Age Level: 4-8yrs
Themes: cats, ailurophobia, Tel-Aviv
Summary: (from the publisher) There are lots of cats on Ben Yehuda Street, but it is the friendship between a little grey cat with a pink collar and a fluffy white stray cat that brings two lonely neighbors together.

What do I think? Unfortunately I am still waiting to review this book – hurry up Ms.Postperson! The smiling cat illustrations (and look at those tails!) on the cover would be enough for me to pick this one up. I was intrigued by the setting too, having once hosted an exchange student from Tel-Aviv (Hi Miki!) when I was in high school. Should it arrive today, you can bet I’ll revise this post within the hour! Fingers crossed! IT”S HERE! Thanks, Ms. Postperson! This is a sweet story of neighbors reaching out in their own way, in their own time. Did I mention all the cats? “Free cats, fat cats, living-on-the-sidewalk cats.” The illustrator paints life into the characters and setting with good use of texture and layers. As in The Wooden Sword, a few symbols of the character’s culture are shown, like the hamsa amulet hanging in Mr. Modiano’s apartment. And I got to learn a little Hebrew too, as Mr. Modiano says, “Lo, lo, lo.” Always.

For those of you new to the tour, here’s the schedule:
Mon – March 18 – Alyson at Kid Lit Frenzy
Tue – March 19 – Alethea at Read Now Sleep Later
Wed – March 20 – Gail at Nightengail Art
Thu – March 21 – Danielle at There’s a Book
Fri – March 22 – Wendy at Noodling with Words
Sat – March 23 – The Cats on Ben Yehuda Launch Party at Children’s Book World, Los Angeles
Mon – March 25 – Julie Rowan-Zoch
Tue – March 26 – Joanna at Miss Marple’s Musings
Wed – March 27 – Niki at Daydream Reader
Thu – March 28 – Cynthia at Teaching in Cute Shoes
Fri – March 29 – Colby at Sharpread

Here are some links to purchase, but I hope you will ask at your local independent bookseller first!

Wooden Sword:;
Cats on Ben Yehuda: