Hanukkah is here and one West Hempstead resident is using her talents to shed light on the importance of the Jewish holiday to her young readers.
Ann Koffsky, is a children’s book illustrator and author, as well as a mom of three, living in West Hempstead. She's crafted 22 books and has been a guest speaker at over 30 schools, including the , and other events, where she shares her work and witty personality with her always-engaged audiences. Most of her books revolve around Jewish themes and stories, like that of Passover and Israel, but she also has a broad range of topics in her portfolio.
“I’ve done [books] on Passover and Israel, many with a Jewish theme...but I’ve also done some on Thanksgiving and the 4th of July," Koffsky explained.
Her newest book, “Noah’s Swimathon,” is a culmination of her passions and experiences as an illustrator, author and a summer lifeguard.
“Noah’s Swimathon, is really close to my heart," she said. " My two main jobs are an illustrator and, during the summers, a lifeguard. I never expected that I would get the chance to combine them. I believe it was the book I was meant to make.”
Her other three loves also happen to be her three biggest critics: her children.
“They like watching the process and give me suggestions," Koffsky said. "It will be interesting to see what they end up doing, if they decide to go into art professionally."
Despite her worries that it might be an impractical career choice, she pursued her love of art and received a degree in the subject.
“One [of my children] loves working on Photoshop and makes poster after poster, one can sit and color for hours (Which is a big deal for a six-year-old!) and one won an art contest with a few other students a couple years ago,” bragged the proud momma.
Koffsky and her family, including her three budding artists, will spend this Hanukkah at home.
“We watch the West Hempstead fire truck come around and hand out chocolate gelt and dradels, we light five menorahs that my children have made, we sing the blessings," she said. "I still have to make the latkes though! But I have eight days, so there’s time!"
To see more of Ann Koffsky's work, visit her website at http://www.annkoffsky.com.