Yes, it's time to break out a little Chopin funeral march.
Two of our favorite Hebrew picture books have been officially loved to death: the classic Tiras Cham and HaShalom shel Michael. Their tattered pages are currently being mourned by the members of the Klempner household.
This event has sent me on a new adventure: finding new copies. I've been successful at finding Tiras Cham. That book is so popular in Israel that Steimatsky there sells Tiras Cham-themed pajamas (possible Chanukah gifts for my little ones?) and you can easily purchase books through their website. However, HaShalom shel Michael is nowhere to be found on the internet. It's like it never existed. I've tried transliterating in a variety of ways and even translating despite my relatively poor Hebrew skills (Should that be Michael's Hello or Michael's Greeting?). Zilch!
I'm a little traumatized. Perhaps I'll patch up the sad, dilapidated pages that have fallen out of the binding and onto the floor. It's such a beautiful story, all about greeting everyone with a "panim yafot," as Shammai suggests in Pirkei Avot. I highly recommend the book to everyone...if you can just find a copy!
My time isn't a total loss. The plus side is that I discovered a neat-o blog about Hebrew language education with some nifty things in it (like an art project/lesson plan to go with another Israel classic, HaBayit Shel Yael):
Then that blog led me to another:
And yet another!