Rifka Takes a Bow

  • Interest Level: Kindergarten - Grade 3
  • Reading Level: Grade 2

Rifka’s parents are actors in the Yiddish Theater in New York, but one day Rifka finds herself center stage in a special role! A slice of immigrant life on New York’s Second Avenue, this is a unique book about a vanished time and a place – the Yiddish theater in the early 20th century―made real through the telling of the true life story of the 96-year-old author as a little girl.

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Interest Level Kindergarten - Grade 3
Reading Level Grade 2
Genre Picture Books, Social Studies
Copyright 2013
Publisher Lerner Publishing Group
Imprint Kar-Ben Publishing ®
Language English
Number of Pages 32
Publication Date 2013-08-01
Text Type Fiction
BISACS JUV033020, JUV031060, JUV016150
Dewey [E]
Graphics Full-color illustrations
Dimensions 9.25 x 11
Features Author/Illustrator biography, Awards, Original artwork, Reviewed, and Starred Reviews

Author: Betty Rosenberg Perlov

Betty Rosenberg Perlov, age 96, grew up in the Yiddish Theater, where her mother was an actress and her father a producer. Always artistic, she was a "child star" on her father’s weekly Yiddish radio soap opera. In her 50's, she decided to go to college, where she acquired a BA and then, in her 60's, an MS in Speech Pathology. She has always worked hard to share her artistic vision; this book is her triumph. She lives in the Park Slope section of Brooklyn, New York and will be personally promoting her book in the New York area.

Illustrator: Cosei Kawa

Cosei Kawa is an award-winning Japanese artist. His many accolades include the CCBC Choices best-of-the-year list, the Sydney Taylor Book Award Silver Medal, and the Turry's Picture Book Award.


  • Cooperative Children's Book Center (CCBC) Choices, Winner, 2014
  • Sydney Taylor Book Award Honor, Runner-up, 2014
  • Children's Book Committee at Bank Street College Best Children's Book of the Year, Winner, 2014
  • Tablet Magazine Best Jewish Kids Books of the Year, Winner, 2013
  • Kirkus Best Children's Books, Winner, 2013


The New York Times Book Review

“Vividly capturing a bygone New York, ‘Rifka Takes a Bow’ also celebrates the enduring pleasures of childhood…Written in English, it offers a charming tribute to the droll cadences, reassuring logic and irrepressible humor of Yiddish itself.” —The New York Times Book Review

School Library Journal

“Perlov, herself a child actor in the days of Yiddish radio, paints an affectionate and nostalgic picture of the era with her words. A nice addition to collections wishing to highlight the American Jewish experience.” —School Library Journal

Kirkus Reviews

“A memoir told with love and nostalgia….Unusual and unabashedly charming.” —starred, Kirkus Reviews