Are You Ready for the Adventures of "Penga and Menga"?

Penga and Menga are two penguins who live far away from our country and are different from each other as day and night. What unites them is their adherence to their Jewish identity and traditions. It is a heartwarming story that narrates the harmony of differences and the friendship that arises from this harmony. The creators of the characters Penga and Menga are Vivet Pitelon Sparkes and her son Jim Sparkes. Also, the illustrations in the "Holidays" series (consisting of 11 books) designed for children, belong to both of them. The stories are written and translated into English (from Turkish) by Vivet.
Are You Ready for the Adventures of "Penga and Menga"?


Translation by Janet MITRANI

Gözlem Publishing has published many books until today. We work meticulously during both the reading and the design process of all these books before the print, striving to create a beautiful work. This was exactly the case with the "Penga & Menga" series...

The STEAM Coordinator of the Ulus Jewish Schools (UÖMO) Vivet Pitelon Sparkes, who has prepared the curriculum for the kindergarten and the primary school and is currently teaching in the Jewish Studies Department, came to us about four months ago with a wonderful project, prepared in coordination with the school. The project was a children's book series. Our heroes Penga and Menga would teach the Jewish holidays and values to the children studying at the UÖMO Kindergarten and Primary school, through having fun but most importantly getting them to ask questions.

As we moved forward with the project and saw the beautiful work that came out, we decided that these colorful books should reach all the children in our community. Then dear Vivet translated the Turkish books into English. We also added a coloring book to this series that had initially consisted of ten books, thanks to a donor. Thus, this both fun and educational project of two series, consisting of 11 books each -in Turkish and English separately- came to life.

Penga and Menga Series

This is a teamwork. The creators of our heroes are dear Vivet and her very talented son Jim Sparkes. The text and the English translation belong to Vivet, who had been educated in this. Although making children's books may seem easy, each word you write and the illustrations are very important. You should give the children information at a level that they can comprehend while also arousing curiosity. When you look at it from this aspect you'll see that there are many details to consider.

The texts and illustrations in "Penga and Menga" were checked by both the UÖMO teachers and the Rabbis. After all the necessary procedures for printing had been completed, the two series consisting of 11 books each were finally sent to the printing house. Believe me, it is difficult to describe the happiness we felt when we recently held the published books in our hands.

In our country, sources on Judaism prepared for children are very few. Especially there are no illustrated children's books on Jewish Holidays. The aim is not only to entertain while educating our children, but also to help the adults who do not know how to tell these to the children. The little kids learning English will also be able to further improve what they have learned thanks to these books.

Penga and Menga

The books in the series are: 

Penga and Menga
Penga and Menga - It’s Rosh Hashanah!
Penga and Menga - It’s Sukkot
Penga and Menga - It’s Chanukah !
Penga and Menga - It’s Tu B’Shevat!
Penga and Menga - It’s Purim!
Penga and Menga - Passover and Shavuot
Penga and Menga - It’s Tu B’Av!
Penga and Menga - It’s Shabbat!
Penga and Menga - Jewish Values
Penga and Menga - Coloring Book

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