Marilyn E. Gootman

Marilyn E. Gootman, has been the “pied piper” of young Jewish families in Athens, Georgia since 2007, when she founded The PJ Library program for the congregation Children of Israel. Over her 35-year education career, Dr. Gootman has taught children, university students, educators, camp counselors, and parents.


What was your favorite book when you were a child?

I loved the story Heidi and found it very exciting when on my travels I visited the part of Switzerland where she lived and saw the lovely fields of flowers.

What’s your favorite line from a book?

“If you will it, it is no dream.” Theodore Herzl

Who are your top three favorite authors or illustrators?

I think Walter Isaacson is a brilliant biographer and really captures people at their essence. I particularly enjoyed his biography of Einstein. Robert McCloskey’s charming story about ducklings in the Boston Public Gardens Make Way for the Ducklings is one of my favorites. I loved that book as a child and so do my grandchildren. Margaret Wise Brown authored many charming books including the “Noisy Books” that I loved reading to my children and now to my grandchildren.

Why did you want to become an author or illustrator?

When I see things that could be improved—especially for kids―I want to make that happen. Writing books is one way to engage in Tikun Olam and make the world a better place.

Do you have any advice for future authors or illustrators?

Follow your passion. As Theodore Herzl said, “If you will it, it is no dream.”