Heritage Florida Jewish News - Central Florida's Independent Jewish Voice

'The Challah Girl' - an old tale told in a refreshingly new way


January 15, 2021

A page from "The Challah Girl."

Fairy tales generally have an "old world" feel to them that sometimes is jarring to our modern sensibilities. And yet, their classic story lines and vivid plotting make them a genre that always appeals. 

"The Challah Girl," a picture book by author Bracha K. Sharp, bridges the gap between out-of-date and timely in a way that is fun and fresh. The bones of the tale, which involves a despondent prince, his anxious parents, and a community-wide quest to cheer him up, feel familiar, but the author's lightly humorous writing and contemporary-minded updates serve to make this story timeless. 

Particularly well-done is Sharp's wry refusal to assume that any commoner would leap at a chance to marry a prince, and she weaves the importance of personal compatibility into this ageless formula with a deft touch. 

In the scope of the beautifully illustrated tale, values such as compassion, creativity, and persistence are highlighted, in a way subtle enough that the reader will not feel "preached at." 

Moreover, the focus on challah is an excellent choice, as it highlights this important Jewish ritual in a way that is so appealing, it will have readers closing the book and reaching for their mixing bowls. 

Bracha K. Sharp is an author, writer, and poet. She draws particular inspiration from her background in English literature and psychology, poetry, nature, folklore and myth, and her favorite childhood books. When not writing, she loves to spend time with her family, friends, and literary character-named guinea pigs, attend book conventions, and occasionally bake challahs, which she hopes turn out as good as Zlatah Leah's! 

Her first book, "The Challah Girl," was a 2019 Moonbeam Children's Book Awards Silver Medalist Award Winner, for the "Best First Book - Picture Book" Category. 

Find out more about Bracha K. Sharp's writing, by visiting her website at: www.brachaksharp.com

Books may be purchased via the website for $18.95, directly from the author and, if requested, books may be autographed and/or personally inscribed. 


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