Jane Breskin Zalben

author / artist / illustrator


Hi! Welcome to my page! Here, you can find all of my books, a little about my family, a few activities, and a place where you can ask me questions. If you have speakers, turn up the volume to hear the klezmer music. So click one of the links below to get started!

Beni's Books

Color Beni

Beni's Family Tree

Ask Beni Bear: Hey there! Do you have a question you want to ask me about my books, my family, or just about anything else? If so, you can send me e-mail at janezalben@hotmail.com. If I get a chance (Since I'm hibernating in the winter), I'll answer you! So send your questions now!

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Beni's First Chanukah

On the first morning of Chanukah, Beni the bear eagerly prepares for the evening's festivities. He cooks latkes and doughnuts with his family. He plays in the snow with his sister Sara. Later, he visits his friends the squirrels, Sasha and Christopher, and helps them decorate their beautiful christmas tree. That night, Sasha and Christopher join Beni's family as they light the menorah, listen to the story of Chanukah, sing songs, and spin the dreidel. When the presents are opened, Sasha and Christopher get a bag full of chocolate "gold" coins, and Beni gets "just what he always wanted."

Beni's Family Treasury

Jane Breskin Zalben's Jewish holiday picture books have been delighting young children for more than ten years. In this beautifully illustrated and elegantly designed treasury, five of her most beloved Beni stories are brought together to create a holiday collection that can be enjoyed throughout the year. Beni, Sara, Mama, Papa, cousins Rosie and Max, and all of their family and friends celebrate the Jewish holidays with warmth and humor. This is a perfect book for family reading and sharing.

Beni's First Wedding

On the day of Uncle Izzy and Sashi's wedding, Beni has butterflies in his stomach. All of his family and friends are there-- even his prankster cousin Max. As Beni walks slowly and steadily down the aisle with the wedding ring and pillow, he hears friendly voices cheering him on. But just when Aunt Gertie calls out "Sheyna kup!" Beni loses his balance and accidentally tips the pillow-- off rolls the ring! Will Beni find the ring in time for the wedding to go on?

Beni's Family Cookbook

What better way to celebrate the holidays than to cook-- and eat-- the delicious foods so important to Jewish tradition. Here's a sumptuous collection of recipes for every Jewish holiday through the year. Jane Breskin Zalben has gathered treasured mouth-watering recipes from her family and friends. Such favorites as matzoh ball soup, noodle kugel, and gefilte fish are here, as well as kasha varnishkas, hamantaschen, and macaroons. Each section of the cookbook features a different holiday and includes notes on its religious and cultural importance.

Beni's Little Library: Jewish Holiday Box Set

No child's holiday is complete with family and friends. Here are four beautifully illustrated paperback picture books that will be enjoyed over the holidays for years and years.

Includes: Beni's First Chanukah; Happy Passover, Rosie; Goldie's Purim; and Leo & Blossom's Sukkah.

Goldie's Purim

Goldie's mother and father and all her friends have come to see the Purim play. Goldie has the part of Queen Esther-- the starring role! Her sister Molly makes a fine Queen Vashti. And Beni and Sam are perfect as Ahasuerus and Mordecai. Then suddenly it's Goldie's turn-- and she's scared. Queen Esther was brave enough to stand up to the king, but will Goldie be brave enough to say her lines in front of all those people?

Leo & Blossom's Sukkah

Leo and Blossom's Sukkah: Leo and Blossom are building their own sukkah this year, just like the one Papa's building for the family. Leo makes a roof from leaves an pine boughs. Blossom weaves willows between the branches. Beni and Sara help too. "Do you think there's too much hanging?" asks Max, but nobody listens-- until their overburdened sukkah falls down. Maybe it's time to ask Mama and Papa for help! This book gets to the heart of Sukkot-- from building the traditional sukkah and eating the family meal in it, to sleeping out under the stars.

Happy Passover, Rosie

This Passover, Rosie's the youngest, so she has the most important job of all. But before she can ask the Four Questions at her family's Seder, there's lots to do to prepare for the holiday-- shelves to dust, relatives to greet, matzoh-ball soup to make. All the details of the Pesach celebration are here-- including the Four Questions in Hebrew and English, and an illustrated explication of the Seder plate.

Papa's Latkes

This Chanukah Mama is tired of making latkes. So Papa's in charge! "Let's have a latke contest," says Papa. But Rosie adds too many potatoes to her latkes, and Max's latkes, and Max's latkes are so oily they slip right off his plate. Then Papa comes to their rescue. His latkes are perfect-- and there are plenty to fill everyone's tummy. Celebrate the holiday with Max, Sara, Beni, and their lovable bear family.

Color Beni:

You can print this page and use colored pencils, crayons, and water colors. Or save the image below by right-clicking on the picture of Beni, then saving the image, and coloring it on your computer using Paint or Photoshop!

Beni's Family Tree: