Nosh, Schlep, Schluff: BabYiddish written by Laurel Snyder and illustrated by Tiphanie Beeke (published by Random House) is a very sweet board book that introduces popular Yiddish words into your baby’s vocabulary.
Yiddish is a language that was spoken by Jewish people in Europe before the Second World War. It is still spoken by some communities today but even in those where fluency has been lost there are Yiddish words that have become completely ensconced into the vocabularies of their descendants. Many of these words are untranslatable into English so the Yiddish words or phrases will always fits certain situations best.
In Nosh, Schlep, Schluff a selection of Yiddish words are put into context for a little baby; from schmoozing with their friends at nursery, noshing at dinner time and schluffing in bed at the end of a busy day. The Yiddish words are in bold and the book is illustrated with bright pastel drawings that are soft and endearing but still full of deep bold colours. I love the way the words on the front cover illustrate their meaning too.
We use Yiddish words a lot in our family, here are a few favourites of ours (‘ch’ is pronounced as a guttural ‘h’):
Tuches – This is my eldest’s favourite word, it means bottom.
Schlep – This word doesn’t have a directly translatable English word and is a great way to describe carrying something heavy or having to walk a long way to get somewhere.
Kvell – To Kvell describes the feeling you have when you could burst with pride, usually about something a family member has done. It’s used mainly by parents when they talk about their children.
Naches – Related to ‘kvell’, this is the joy you get from your children. A parent would say that their children give them naches.
Yiddish holds such a special place in our culture and I love that children’s books like this exist and are dedicated to it, it makes it all the more special for my children. When I hear my son dropping Yiddish words effortlessly into his vocabulary, well, it gives me such naches!