Illustrator: Wheaton, MD
kahndaviATcomcast.net

Katherine Janus Kahn

Katherine Janus Kahn has been illustrating children’s books   for television and print for over 30 years.

Katherine’s adventures with children’s books started when she went to Israel as a volunteer after the Six-Day War.  She took 3 pencils, a tablet of drawing paper, and an eraser, with the vague idea of starting to draw again.  She had always been the class artist in elementary school, but she had stopped.  She hasn’t stopped again since Israel.

While she was in Israel, she worked in the Negev Desert on an archeological dig and harvested olives on a kibbutz in the Galilee. She went to art school in the newly united city of Jerusalem.  It was the first time in 20 years that Jews were allowed into the old city.  The city glows golden in the sun, because it is built with the famous yellow Jerusalem stone.  Its narrow streets and alleys are like a maze, leading the visitor to the smells of spices and strong Turkish coffee, the sounds of tinkling bells on donkeys carrying  bundles as big as they are; and silver pitchers and colorful fabrics and in the bazaars.  Women walk through these narrow streets clothed all in black with only their eyes showing.

Katherine’s “Sammy Spider” series for preschoolers, by Kar-Ben Publishing,  is an engaging introduction to Jewish traditions told by Sammy, a curious spider, who watches everything that Josh and his mother are doing from high up on the Shapiro's living room ceiling.

Each story covers a specific Jewish holiday and a learning concept.   The original book, Sammy Spider’s First Hanukkah, teaches numbers and colors using the candles of the menorah.  Different books cover the seasons, one day, sizes, sounds, the five senses, and many more concepts important for young children.  Kahn's brightly colored collage illustrations and simple bold designs for the "Sammy Spider" series have been widely praised. The books are used in hundreds of Jewish preschools across the country. A Publishers Weekly reviewer has compared the series to the work of Eric Carle.  The series has also been translated and published in France by Yodea Publishing.

For the WETA-TV program “Cover to Cover”, Katherine won the Golden Hugo Award from the Chicago International Film Festival for her illustrations for the program on “A Wizard of Earthsea,” by Ursala LeGuin , an exciting book of a sorcerers’ school written long before Harry Potter.

 

Sammy Spider Series

Sammy Spider’s First Hanukkah
Sylvia A. Rouss, 1993
Kar-Ben Publishing, Lerner Publishing Group
9780-9293-7146-7  $7.95 PB pre-school
Numbers and Colors

French Edition
Le Premier Hanoucca de Sammy Spider
Yodea Publishing, EU 8,50
10 2914084919
13 978-2914084918

Dutch edition
9789-0769-3525-6

Hanukkah Fun Book
9781-5801-3032-5 PB

 

Sammy Spider's First Hanukkah

Sammy Spider’s First Passover
Sylvia A. Rouss, 1995
Kar-Ben Publishing, Lerner Publishing Group
9780-9293-7182-5  $7.95 PB pre-school
Shapes

French Edition
Le Premier Pessah de Sammy Spider
Yodea Publishing, EU 8,50
10 2914084942
13 978-2914084949

Passover Fun Book
9781-5801-3032-5 PB

 

Sammy Spider's First Passover

Sammy Spider’s First Rosh Hashanah
Sylvia A. Rouss, 1996
Kar-Ben Publishing, Lerner Publishing Group
9780-9293-7199-3  $7.95 PB pre-school
Sizes

French Edition
Le Premier Roch Hachana de Sammy Spider
Yodea Publishing, EU 8,50
10 2914084997
13 978-2914084995

 

Sammy Spider's First Rosh Hashanah

Sammy Spider’s First Shabbat
Sylvia A. Rouss, 1997
Kar-Ben Publishing, Lerner Publishing Group
9781-5801-3006-6  $7.95 PB pre-school
Days of the Week

French Edition
Le Premier Chabbat de Sammy Spider
Yodea Publishing, EU 8,50
10 2914084889
13 978-2914084888

Shabbat Fun Book
9781-5801-3147-6 PB

 

Sammy Spider's First Shabbat

Sammy Spider’s First Tu B’Shevat
Sylvia A. Rouss, 2000
Kar-Ben Publishing, Lerner Publishing Group
9781-5801-3065-3  $7.95 PB pre-school
The Seasons

French Edition
Le Premier Tou Bichevat de Sammy Spider
Yodea Publishing, EU 8,50
10 2914084935
13 978-2914084932

 

Sammy Spider's First Tu B'Shevat

The Kansas City Jewish Chronicle
“This charming book for three to seven-year-olds is illustrated by a pro in the field of art for children’s books, Katherine Janus Kahn, providing brightly colored artwork that is sure to delight a young child.”

Sammy Spider’s First Purim
Sylvia A. Rouss, 2000
Kar-Ben Publishing, Lerner Publishing Group
9781-5801-3062-2  $7.95 PB pre-school
Sounds

French Edition
Le Premier Pourim de Sammy Spider
Yodea Publishing, EU 8,50
10 2914084919
13 978-2914084918

 

Sammy Spider's First Purim

Sammy Spider’s First Trip to Israel
Sylvia A. Rouss, 2002
Kar-Ben Publishing, Lerner Publishing Group
978-0-9293-7146-7  $7.95 PB pre-school
The Five Senses

French Edition
Le PremierVoyage de Israel de Sammy Spider
Yodea Publishing, EU 8,50
10 2914084986
13 978-2914084987

 

 

Sammy Spider's First Trip to Israel

School Library Journal writer Amy Kellman wrote that in Sammy Spider's First Trip to Israel: A Book about the Five Senses Kahn's artwork is actually "stronger than the text"

Sammy Spider’s First Sukkot
Sylvia A. Rouss, 2004
Kar-Ben Publishing, Lerner Publishing Group
9781-5801-3142-1  LB $15.95 pre-school
9781-5801-3083-7 PB $7.95
Directions

French Edition
Le Premier Souccot de Sammy Spider
Yodea Publishing, EU 8,50
10 2914084900
13 978-2914084901

 

Sammy Spider's First Sukkot

“Waiter, There’s a Spider in My Sukkah!”,
2007, JFLMedia, Gershom Gorenberg
Actually, there’s a third way to look at Sammy Spider’s First Sukkot—as art education. My nine-year-old stared at Rouss’s illustrations, all brilliant collages, and said, “I want to do that,” and began collecting scraps of paper.

Sammy Spider’s First Haggadah
Sylvia A. Rouss, 2007
Kar-Ben Publishing, Lerner Publishing Group
1-5801-3230-8, pre-school, PB $5.95

French Edition
La Premiere Haggada de Sammy Spider
Yodea Publishing, EU 8,50
10 2914084951
13 978-2914084956

 

Sammy Spider's First Haggadah

Kids can join right in the seder, as Sammy leads the simple retelling of the story, songs, and rituals that follow the order of the adult service.

Sammy Spider’s First Shavuot
Sylvia A. Rouss, 2008
Kar-Ben Publishing, Lerner Publishing Group
9780-8225-7224-4 LB $15.95, pre-school
9780-8225-7225-1  PB $7.95
Step-by-Step
A Sidney Taylor Notable Book for 2009

French Edition
Le Premier Chavouot de Sammy Spider
Yodea Publishing, EU 8,50
10 291408496x
13 978-2914084963

 

Sammy Spider's First Shavuot

Sammy Spider’s First Day of School
Sylvia A. Rouss, 2009
Kar-Ben Publishing, Lerner Publishing Group
9780-8225-8583-1 LB $15.95 pre-school
9780-8225-8584-8 PB $7.95
Kindness to Animals

French Edition
Le Premier Jour de Classe de Sammy Spider
Yodea Publishing, EU 8,50
10 2914084978
13 978-2914084970

Sammy Spider's First Day of School

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