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Tuesday, May 19, 2009

All About Dina Rosenfeld















Dina (Devorah Leah) Rosenfeld has written over 18 Jewish books for children including the classic, The Very Best Place for a Penny, the beloved Labels for Laibel, and Five Alive, an AJL notable book for 2003. She lives in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, with her husband and children. Dina's newest book is All About Us.

Tell me about All About Us.
All About Us is a deceptively simple preschool picture book that highlights all the mitzvot (good deeds) that can be done with different parts of the body.

What was your inspiration for the book?
Having taught in a Jewish preschool, I always wanted to provide a Jewish twist to the curriculum. Every nursery school presents a unit on the parts of the body, and All About Us addresses the subject from a uniquely Jewish point of view.

According to Jewish tradition, the entire world was created according to the blueprint of the Torah, with the performance of mitzvot as the ultimate goal.

From that perspective, it's not just a nice idea to use your hands to open the door for a guest or to light Shabbat candles. The ability to perform those acts is the very reason we needed to have hands in the first place!

As a preschool teacher, I wanted to challenge myself to present this rather advanced esoteric concept to my three-year-old students in a completely age appropriate way.

Are you working on anything new?
It's purely in the "mulling over" stage right now, and in my experience, an idea made public before its time somehow never works.

What is the best part about being a children's writer?
Your fans always read your books cover to cover, and sometimes, they know every word by heart! How many famous novelists can say that?

But the best part of being a children's writer specifically for the Jewish market is the possibility that the books will actually affect children's attitudes and behavior... increasing their awareness and practice of Judaism in a meaningful way.

Dina, I wish you continued success with your books! Thanks for stopping by.

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