It's a It's a It's a Mitzvah (Jewish Lights).
After their collaboration on The Mitzvah Project Book, the two wanted to share the same theme of helping others with a younger audience. In It’s a It’s a It’s a Mitzvah, (their first picture book), they invite children to take a journey with the Mitzvah Meerkat and pals as they do good deeds and mitzvot grounded in Jewish tradition.
Many people are curious as to why they chose a meerkat as the character who explains each act of kindness. Well, Diane's own daughters were huge fans of Animal Planet’s documentary television show, “Meerkat Manor.” Liz and Diane liked the alliteration of meerkat with mitzvah. They also thought that a meerkat would be an appealing “fresh face” in children’s book, and it already had the thumbs up from Diane's kids!
Their first collaboration with an illustrator couldn't have been more productive. Diane says "Laurel Molk’s captivating illustrations create architecture for the book filled with soul and humor. She added so much to the book’s development. Laurel suggested adding the trio of mice in each spread, which contributes an additional layer of whimsical fun to the more serious sentiment of caring for others. It amazes me that Laurel’s close friendship with Liz predates Liz’s and my writing careers. Naturally, we urged Jewish Lights to consider Laurel as the illustrator. To me, that’s a great definition of 'bashert'!"
It's a It's a It's a Mitzvah! was recently selected as one of the "50 Best Spiritual Books of the Year" by the multi-faith web site SpiritualityandPractice.com.
ABOUT BARBARA BIETZ
- Barbara Bietz
- California, United States
- I am a children's author, magazine writer, children's book reviewer, and chair of the Sydney Taylor Book Award Committee. I love talking about children's books and the craft of writing. My midddle grade chapter book, LIKE a MACCABEE, was released in October 2006 (Yotzeret Publishing) The best part of being an author is visiting schools and meeting students, teachers, and librarians. I write book reviews for Jewish Book World magazine and the Association of Jewish Libraries Newsletter. Selected interviews from this blog are featured in Jewish Book World Magazine. My monthly book column appears in the award winning web site, FamiliesOnlineMagazine.com. I also teach writing classes for adults. Please check out my web site at www.BarbaraBietz.com Contact me at BarbaraBietz@aol.com.