Nosh, Schlep, Schluff: Babyiddish

monster.jpgThere’s an inherent problem with board books, those little book-ettes made entirely of hard cardboard. Generally, babies will fixate on one (often the one you hate the most) and ask for it again. And again. And again. But once they are old enough for “real books” (you know, the kind that teat when you bite them) they refuse to even look at board books. Which means that board books are really for grown ups, because we are the only ones who ever end up listening to them (again, and again, and again.)

When my girls were little, they had a few board books that I loved, and a few that I hid in the attic. The best ones had attractive illustrations and an appropriate amount of text for the medium. They were also either very soothing (Good Night, Moon and Time for Bed) or very clever (There’s a Monster at the End of This Book and Good Night, Gorilla.) Also, they had sturdy bindings (and non-toxic ink.)


I was excited to see that one of my favorite children’s book authors, Laurel Snyder, had a new board book, so I requested a review copy of Nosh, Schlep, Schluff from Random House. I haven’t had a chance to test it out on the toddler set, but this baby-yiddish lexicon definitely meets many of my criteria. The pastel illustrations are very, very sweet. I especially adore the multiple images of children in footed pajamas, the baby clothes I miss the most. And because it’s from Laurel, it can’t possibly not be clever. My favorite moments? The image of the baby saying “nu?” to his stuffed animals, and the inclusion of the word tuches and plotz. Who wouldn’t enjoy saying those words to a toddler? (Again, and again, and again.)
As for the story? It’s a board book. It’s not a story. The rhymed pages do what they are intended to do – introduce a few yiddish words, and stand up to more than a few toothless bites. And not drive parents crazy. In other words, a great baby gift.
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posted February 22, 2011 at 10:12 pm

I have to talk to the PJ Library Folks. Somehow we got bumped up to the next oldest level and instead of this book (which I really, REALLY want) got Joseph had a Little Overcoat, which the boys happen to also love.

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Sarah Buttenwieser

posted February 23, 2011 at 12:12 am

board books do have their own special criteria!
including how quickly you can get through them when you’re hurrying to nap/bed.
looks so cute this one.

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posted February 23, 2011 at 7:16 am

Thank you for the insight as to why there are so many Sandra Boynton board books in my house. : )
While it may be true that toddlers don’t remember much of their board books, the parents do, you have filled me with nostalgia. I now must find a copy of my beloved Grover book from childhood!

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posted February 23, 2011 at 2:28 pm

Funny, we received “Goodnight Moon” as a gift and I actually did hide it in a closet because I find it hideously creepy! I think you have to grow up with that one. My husband thinks various of my Hebrew favorites are no less weird, but is nice enough not to stick them in a closet. This one, though, I think we could agree on. It looks charming!

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Rabbi Susan

posted February 25, 2011 at 12:07 pm

Do you know about ? They have a cute series centered around characters like “Shmutzy Girl” and “Noshy Boy.” My preschoolers love them and they learn a few Yiddish words in a really thorough way.

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posted February 26, 2011 at 8:58 pm

I do know them – i like the concept, but I don’t think the stories are so well executed-

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