Thursday, June 2, 2011

Children's Book Review: Alfie's Bark Mitzvah by Shari Cohen

Price: $18.00
Hardcover Fiction
ISBN 978-1-58985-055-2


Brimming with unconditional love, devotion, and a never-ending desire to help others, Alfie is the epitome of all dogs and is a great role model for kids. It seems he's been that way since he was a pup. But today, Alfie is passing from puppyhood to adulthood and, in honor of this most important occasion, Alfie gets to celebrate his Bark Mitzvah with all of his family and friends. Alfie's Bark Mitzvah is beautifully illustrated by Nadia Komorova and, as a bonus, includes a CD of children's songs created especially for the book by the internationally acclaimed Cantor Marcelo Gindlin. 

My Review:

This is a cute book about a puppy named Alfie coming of age, into a dog.  While Jewish children celebrate their coming of age with a Bat Mitzvah, it is only fitting that Alfie have a Bark Mitzvah.  You and your children will just fall in love with Alfie through the cute illustrations done by Nadia Komorova, and the rhyming scheme of the story will keep your children entertained.  What a great way to share the Jewish traditions of coming of age with your child, even if they are not Jewish.  Alfie's passage from puppy to dog is celebrated when he learns about the importance of caring and showing kindness to others. 

In addition to this lovely book, a CD is also included, which has sons by Cantor Marcelo Gindlin that tie in with the story.  Your children will just love these catchy tunes that will have them dancing along and celebrating Alfie's Bark Mitzvah with him.

About the Author:

Shari Cohen was born and raised in Minneapolis, Minnesota. After graduating from St. Louis Park High School, she attended the University of Minnesota where she majored in journalism. During that time, Shari began writing for fun, creating stories and scripts that involved her friends. In the mid 1970s, she moved to southern California where she began writing professionally.

Shari is the author of fourteen books for children and young adults, including Prime Time Rhyme, Macaroni and Fleas, Wild Wings: Planes, Rockets, and Spacecraft to Build and Fly, Draw Fantasy: Dragons, Centaurs, and Other Mythological Characters, and Future Wings: The step-By-Step Paper Spacecraft Book.

She has also written three self-help books for the Rosen Publishing Group in New York - Coping With Being Adopted, Coping With Failure, and Coping With Sibling Rivalry, followed by a young adult book she wrote with her husband Paul, A Career in Law Enforcement and Security. Her story "Patches of Time" was published in Na'amat magazine, and her children's tale "Cantor, Can You Hear Me?" appeared in Shofar magazine.

In 1998, Shari coauthored two books for the Rhyme Time Doodle Series: My Bubbe's Arms and My Dog is Jewish. She says she draws material for her poetry from the humor and warmth of shared experiences with her young readers.

In 2001, after moving near the California Coast, Shari was inspired to write the book Rhythm of the Sea, a collection of short stories that take place around the world waters.

In addition to writing books, Shari's stories have appeared in Family Circle, Woman's World, Woman's Day, and Connect for Kids Online. Shari is also a contributor to the Chicken Soup for the Soul series. 

Disclosure:  I was sent a copy of this book by the publisher in order to write up an honest review.  The views above are mine and mine alone.

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