My Yiddish Vacation (Hardcover)

By Ione Skye, Scott Menchin (Illustrator)

Henry Holt and Co. (BYR), 9780805095128, 32pp.

Publication Date: May 13, 2014

List Price: 17.99*
* Individual store prices may vary.


Whenever Ruth and Sammy visit their grandparents, they get to brush up on their Yiddish. This Jewish language, a blend of German and Hebrew, is full of words that are fun to say: words like shvitz (sweat), feh! ("It stinks!"), and schmaltz (fat). Ruth and Sammy look forward to spending time with relatives. As Ruth would say, until they arrive at their grandparent's house, they are on shpilkes (pins and needles)!

Actress Ione Skye drew upon her childhood experiences in this story of family ties, cultural exploration, and adventures under the sunshine.

About the Author

Ione Skye is an actor best known for her roles in Say Anything, River’s Edge, and the television show Arrested Development. She lives in Los Angeles, California, with her husband, musician Ben Lee, and their children. My Yiddish Vacation is her first book.

Scott Menchin spent many years as a designer and art director for magazines. He illustrated Ione Skye's My Yiddish Vacation. He has also illustrated award-winning picture books by Doreen Cronin and Alison McGhee, and has both written and illustrated his own books. He lives in New York with his family.

Praise For My Yiddish Vacation

“Ruth and Sammy's vacation to their grandparents' retirement community presents a nostalgic look at 1970s Jewish Florida.” —Kirkus Reviews

“Every candy-colored page features the funny, frenetic dog involved in some furious activity, and the sense of motion and movement is palpable each time. The text is occasionally labored: 'Wiggle slowly when with polar bears. They're very wiggle shy.' But the artwork picks up the slack so well that kids won't know what to do first: wiggle or giggle.” —Booklist, starred review on Wiggle

“Rhymes weave in and out of the pen-and-ink and digitally colored spreads. The cartoon art is eye-catching and as playful as the text.” —School Library Journal on Bounce

“Skye, the actress who played the object of affection in Say Anything, makes her children's book debut with a loving, lighthearted salute to a truly great and, sadly, vanished generation.” —Publishers Weekly on Bounce