What Others Are Saying
What a lovely, LOVELY book!!!
The story a delight... the artwork beautiful... the songs soulful and warming... this book is a MUST for every jewish home and for every temple early childhood center... and for those who are not jewish, what a wonderful way to learn about jewish tradition!!!
A magical book!!!
February 5, 2009
Jill Zimmerman "justanotherjilli.com"
Amazon Book Reveiw
You don't have to be Jewish to share in the light hearted educational fun of Alfie!! A wonderful kids book that I highly recommend for children of ALL faiths. It will take you and your furry friends on a journey through the coming of age ceremony celebrated by Jewish children. All cleverly adapted to be a party for Pets!!
When I read it out loud to my little sister I was all smiles and giggles just like her ...and I'm 26!
The best part really is its deep message of the "Mitzvoh" teaching children the importance of good deeds. This book is a must have for Pet lovers and anyone else wishing to instill values in their kids. Not to mention it comes with a fun CD of songs written especially for the book, so you and your kids can dance and sing along!!
October 13, 2008
By Jennifer Fillmore
For Jewish children who will one day celebrate their own Bar Mitzvah or Bat Mitzvah, Alfie's Bark Mitzvah shows the joy of the celebration as well as the heart behind the ceremony. This is also a delightful introduction for non-Jewish children into the rituals and family preparation of the Jewish rite of passage. Alfie's dog family and friends are all rendered in soft, gentle affectionate illustrations.
A CD of songs by Cantor Marcelo Gindlin is included. Children will enjoy singing and dancing along to the bouncy songs and listening and singing the gentler, inspirational songs that focus on family and passing on traditions.
Children's Picture Books
Sights, sounds, and life lessons
Alfie's family is gathering to celebrate his, ahem, bark mitzvah, the Jewish rite of passage (for young beagles, like Alfie, at least). Minnesota native Shari Cohen tells the gentle, joyous story of Alfie's big day in rolling rhyme that even prereaders will enjoy hearing aloud. The original music that accompanies the book reinforces its messages of family and tradition.
Alfie's Bark Mitzvah makes the hip list
Alfie's Bark Mitzvah is the focus of Shari Cohen's children's book Alfie's Bark Mitzvah. The CD of children's songs that comes with the book, created by the internationally acclaimed Cantor Marcelo Gindlin, includes a song describing Alfie's Bark Mitzvah.
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A Barking Good Book
Many of us consider our dogs relatives, which undoubtedly explains the popularity of the “bark mitzvah,” a light-hearted celebration honoring canine family members that has caught on around the country.
The celebration inspired Shari Cohen, a poet and author of more than a dozen books for kids, to write Alfie’s Bark Mitzvah (Little Five Star, $18), her delightful new book for ages 3 and up.
She creates a make-believe world populated with canines, including the title character, a sweet-faced beagle with a Jewish soul. A loving and kind dog who visits the sick and the elderly, the lonely and sad, Alfie has reached the age to pass “from being a puppy to a dog,” and friends and family of many breeds come from as far away as Israel to be part of the occasion.
“I wanted to show younger children what to expect in the bar and bat mitzvah process and to talk to them about doing good deeds—mitzvot—in a fun and nontraditional way,” says Cohen, whose previous books include My Bubbe’s Arms and My Dog Is Jewish.
Alfie’s messages are positive and artist Nadia Komorova’s illustrations—a rousing canine hora among them—are charmers. Each copy comes with a CD of songs created especially for the book by Cantor Marcelo Gindlin of the Malibu Jewish Center. For further information, including a schedule of Cohen’s book tour with the Alfie puppet, or to order a copy, go to AlfiesBarkMitzvahBook.com or call 866-471-0777.
If your pup is missing, maybe he’s just gone to a synagogue... But you don’t have to be Jewish to enjoy this book. It’s a good way to introduce non-Jewish children to another faith...
This book is a real success for Author Shari Cohen, Cantor Marcelo Gindlin, and Illustrator Nadia Komorova.
Little Five Star, a division of Five Star Publications, made a good choice in deciding to publish this universally appealing and culturally enlightening children’s book. With so much positive feedback, everyone is sure to love "Alfie's Bark Mitzvah"
Staff Writer - The Graphic
"The sweet tale of Alfie's Bark Mitzvah is a delightful way to learn about and rejoice in traditions of the Jewish culture. I enjoyed meeting all the wonderful characters and personalities in Alfie's family and seeing them come together for his joyous and proud moment. I got a little "fur"klempt! And it's a great reminder to kids that all dogs have individual traits and feelings, just like we do."
Award-winning actor best known as Timmy from "Lassie"
"Alfie is absolutely adorable, and he is such a good guy ... He is thoughtful and kind and has a great sense of humor. Congratulations and all the best of success with this dear book."
Emmy Award-winning actress, pet lover, and animal welfare activist
"Enjoyed the book immensely - both the narrative and Cantor Gindlin's melodies and those fuzzy, furry surrealistic illustrations - cute as a cuddly new-born puppy, you might say. And I know that Issac Bashevis Singer, a lover of animals, would enthusiastically agree. As a Bar Mitzvah teacher, the idea of Alfie's religious matriculation reaches a new level of ecumenicism. I was moved to poetry:
Alfies's Bark Mitzvah
Haftorah and all
that our creator can call
to humans and canines
As the Torah tells
He speaks to us all."
The Scribbler on the Roof
"...the book’s characters are dogs (as opposed to people giving their pet a bar mitzvah), and it is adorable. The beautiful, luminous illustrations capture the priceless expressions on the dogs’ faces as well as the appearances of various breeds. The rhyme is cute, without being sappy, and the emphasis is on family and mitzvot. This book would make a great bar mitzvah present, but it is highly recommended for three to eight-year-old children."
Bloomfield Public Library
Bloomfield, New Jersey
Feb/March 2007 issue of the AJL Newsletter
"... The cheery rhyme captures the jubilant spirit of this occasion, and an accompanying audio CD has five children's songs created especially for the book by internationally acclaimed performer Cantor Marcelo Gindlin... A wonderful way to introduce the concept of Bar Mitzvah to curious children of all faiths and backgrounds."
"Alfie's family is gathering to celebrate his, ahem, bark mitzvah, the Jewish rite of passage (for young beagles, like Alfie, at least). Minnesota native Shari Cohen tells the gentle, joyous story of Alfie's big day in rolling rhyme that even prereaders will enjoy hearing aloud. The original music that accompanies the book reinforces its messages of family and tradition."
“A very cute book that I really like because it introduces kids to a culture they might not otherwise experience and does so in a very friendly, lighthearted but educational way. I love the idea of including the songs, and the illustrations are terrific."
Maryanne Dell, CPDT
Shamrock Rescue, Orange County, California
The Pet Place
Association of Pet Dog Trainers
"Alfie's Bark Mitzvah is endearing and a door opener for the young about what to look forward to when the time of their Bar/Bat Mitzvah will come. It also becomes a sweet reminder for the adults of what it is all about. Shari Cohen and Cantor Marcelo Gindlin have created an imaginative-boundary pusher, caring and respectful at the same time. Nadia Komorova's charming illustrations bring Alfie and his friends to life. Cantor Marcelo Gindlin's CD of songs brings voice to Alfie. His songs are upbeat, spiritual and a delight for young and old.
Rabbi Marcelo Bronstein
Congregation B'nai Jeshurun, New York City, New York
"The songs in Alfie's Bark Mitzvah made me want to sing and dance! I can't wait to have my 'Ba-a-a-a-at Mitzvah' with Cantor Marcelo!!!"
Lamb Chop and Mally Lewis
performer, children's novelist,
Emmy Award Winner and
daughters of Shari Lewis
"Cantor Marcelo Gindlin is my hero. His extraordinary voice, his generous soul, and his gift for reaching children through music comes through in every note of these wonderful songs. As a parent, I cannot thank you enough for reinforcing these lessons on mitzvot--acts of loving kindness--through your sweet, memorable compositions. My daughter, Sarah Elizabeth is singing along with you and loves the songs. On top of that, Cantor Marcelo has captured the heart of my dog, Sally, who now appears to be begging to become Bark Mitzvah, too. Truth be told, we listen to these songs so often that we can no longer tell the difference between kugel and kibble!
Mother and nationally beloved singer/songwriter
"Mazel Tov on your newest book. This book will help young children, Jew and non-Jew alike, better understand the true meaning of the Bar/Bat Mitzvah ceremony. The illustrations make this book come alive!"
Rabbi Andrew Straus
Temple Emanuel, Tempe, AZ
"Cantor Marcelo is one of the top Jewish artists in the country and Alfie's Bark Mitzvah is his best CD yet. Part musical theater and part pop, Alfie's Bark Mitzvah is 100% top notch"
Jewish Artist/ Singer/ Composer/ Producer
"I found Alfie's Bark-Mitzvah story absolutely delightful!!! I enjoyed the mention of multi-cultural family coming for the simcha from far & wide, including the twins, Ziv & Zev. I also felt the family's pride in Alfie's delivery, as well as his realization of the Mitzvot, namely kindness to ALL others. His tale is widely appealing and both endearing & enduring because Alfie basks in the moment of this significant event, yet realizes that this marks only the beginning of his Jewish Journey."
Teacher, 2nd Grade, Woodland Hills, California
"Alfie's Bark Mitzvah is a pleasure to the eye and the heart. As we watch the story of Alfie's coming-of-age unfold, we are reminded of the import and significance of our tradition's values: giving of ourselves to others, celebrating the joys of life, and the importance of Jewish ritual. With wit, charm and humor, Alfie's Bark Mitzvah is a welcome addition to every family's bookshelf and is sure to be read over and over and passed from generation to generation."
Rabbi Bryan R. Bramly
Temple Beth Sholom, Chandler, Arizona
Shari, your book is beautiful to look at and filled with gentle and kind spirit. I love it! May you and Alfie go from strength to strength. Mazal Tov!
Cantor Jay Frailich
University Synagogue, Brentwood, California
"Both touching and hilarious, this colorfully-illustrated story of a dog’s "Bark Mitzvah”
emphasizes the true blessings of this coming of age ritual—the study of prayers and
chanting of the Torah scroll, the doing of kind deeds for others, the passing on of tradition from generation to generation, and the warm family feeling of celebration.
I’m still laughing over the doggie hora dance circle!”
Rabbi Alicia Magal
Jewish Community of Sedona, Arizona
"Marcelo Gindlin makes music with love and enthusiasm. He is a treasure in the Jewish community and a serious talent. Alfie's Bark Mitzvah is fun, upbeat and will keep you singing along."
Jewish Artist/ Singer/ Composer/ Producer
"Alfie's Bark Mitzvah is a delight. The story and the music are wonderful. I especially love the special lessons contained in the story. This is the perfect book for little ones and their grown ups. The pictures are beautiful and engaging and really help Alfie come to life. This book is one that can be read over and over again. We read it to our dog Sophie every night and she barks with happiness. As a matter of fact, I would hope that each family has a copy of Alfie's Bark Mitzvah."
Michal Marks M.A. Ed
Director of Education,
Malibu Jewish Center & Synagogue, Malibu, California
"This is a delightful tale of a puppy celebrating his becoming a Bark Mitzvah.
By caring for all of God's creatures and by enjoying performing acts of Mitvoth,
Alfie is a wonderful role model for children everywhere.”
Cantor Leo Fettman, Cantor and Jewish educator,
Beth Israel Synagogue, Omaha, Nebraska
Cantor Fettman is the author of Shoah: Journey from the Ashes
"I think this book will be a wonderful way of not only introducing younger brothers and sisters to the idea of a Bar or Bat Mitzvah for their older sibling, but will help all young children look forward to the day that they too get to become Bar or Bat Mitzvah."
Rabbi Daniel Plotkin
B'nai El Congregation, St. Louis, MO
"The rhyming text and comical illustrations will appeal to all children, not just Jewish children.
It also opens up discussion of other cultures which is something that all preschool teachers try to do in class. Great story!"
Rochelle Tiche, Preschool Teacher
Building Blocks Preschool—Penngrove, California
"A cute and fun book that sends a nice message about what it means to become Bar/Bat Mitzvah. I like the message that it is normal to be nervous, that the service is important and that beyond the ritual becoming Bar/Bat Mitzvah is becoming responsible for being a good "human being" (or dog)."
Rabbi Michael Schwab
North Suburban Synagogue Beth El, Highland Park, Illinois
"Alfie’s good, forgiving and loving soul shines through these delightful pages reminding us of the purpose and spirit of Bar and Bat Mitzvahs everywhere. Mazel Tov to Shari Cohen, Cantor Marcelo Gindlin and Nadia Komorova on this joyous book."
Author of numerous books for children including
Annie Bananie, and Earl’s Too Cool for Me