In the '90s, in the midst of the so-called culture wars, dueling miscellanies represented a fundamental and acrimonious division over how to raise the next generation of American citizens. Lost in the bickering was a much more basic question: Can we really transmit a moral code to our children through the use of stories?
2013 was the first full year after the death of the legendary Maurice Sendak. While it's impossible to replace an icon like Sendak, this year's offerings reminded us that children's literature is still rich with talented writers and illustrators to carry on the tradition of making great picture books.
Dori, a Jewish educator, began writing these books because she too was looking for modern Jewish books for her own children as well as for the students she was teaching. The options become very sparse for middle school age children who were used to more challenging books like the Harry Potter series.