Jewish Mom Hopes Her “Shabbat Monsters” Book Wins a Spot on The Gittle List

Author seeks to fill a void in children’s book offerings for Jewish families
SAN DIEGO - Nov. 7, 2014 - PRLog -- Jennifer Tzivia MacLeod remembers the day her 6-year-old son came home after his kindergarten class celebrated their 100th day in school. Jennifer says, “He announced sadly that it would be a hundred years before any of the kids liked him.”

The children’s book author decided that she had to write a story to cheer him up – and help him deal with his feelings. “He looked so lonely and I ached for him. I wanted to write him a story.  A story about monsters, so he'd know it wasn't really about him.”

Shabbat Monsters started as one simple verse that popped into Jennifer’s head. “I didn't want it to be a story about Shabbat, because my kids know about that very well already. I just wanted the special day to be the backdrop for a story about a little monster who felt left out of all the fun and games.”

Jennifer heard about The Gittle List last year when she submitted one of her other children’s books to the free contest. This year, she entered Shabbat Monsters because she believes her story is unique and has an audience that is underserved. “I started writing books for Jewish kids because the quality of what's out there, even from traditional publishers, is so terrible.”

Aviva Gittle, owner of Aviva Gittle Publishing and host of the contest, says, “This is the first book targeted to a Jewish audience that has been submitted to The Gittle List. I’m looking forward to reading it!”

Jennifer hopes to win a spot on The Gittle List Top 10 for 2014. But, to her, the most important mission has already been accomplished: to cheer up her son. He enjoyed Shabbat Monsters so much that Jennifer wrote a second book called Chanukah Monsters.

The Gittle List is an annual contest exclusively for self-published authors of children’s picture books and is open to authors around the world. Visit the Aviva Gittle Publishing website at to see the 2014 submission guidelines and the 2013 Gittle List winners. Hurry! Deadline 11/30/14.

Aviva Gittle Publishing writes and publishes stories for children in English and Spanish. Aviva’s website,, shares the stories of authors, illustrators and others who create books and creative media for children.

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