By Abby in Editorial
Have you ever heard of Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library? This literacy program brings free books each month to preschool kids all across the country so that regardless of income, thousands of kids have good books to read. Dolly’s wonderful idea—plus a family Seder where the kids received Jewish-themed books—inspired Harold Grinspoon, a Massachusetts philanthropist. He founded the PJ Library to help families strengthen their Jewish identity.
Every month, the library (“PJ” as in pajamas—for cozy bedtime reading) sends a book with Jewish content to Jewish families with kids aged six months to seven years. The neat thing is that these books, too, are all free—interested families just need to sign up when PJ comes to a participating community.
The Harold Grinspoon Foundation works with local funding partners to provide the books (and one CD of songs each year). The PJ Library is now in over one hundred twenty-five communities coast to coast and in Canada and serves more than sixty thousand families. In four years, the library has given away more than two million books!
We’re delighted that the PJ Library has included several Albert Whitman picture books in its offerings. These include Linda Glaser’s simple and charming Hoppy Hanukkah! and Hoppy Passover! in which two young bunnies observe the holidays with their family; Barbara Reid’s Fox Walked Alone, an unusual take on the Noah’s Ark story, with stunning plasticene art; and Frances Harber’s The Brothers’ Promise, a retelling of a Talmudic tale of brotherly love.
Take a look at some of these great stories. And you don’t have to be Jewish to enjoy them!