Three Questions With Hanoch Piven

In each installment of "Three Questions With" we ask a different PJ Library author or illustrator questions about their work, their process, and their interests. Today we're chatting with artist and author Hanoch Piven.

What is your favorite children’s book?

So many favorites! For now, I will name two that immediately come to mind:

The Three Robbers by Tomi Ungerer and One of Each by Mary Ann Hoberman illustrated by Marjorie Priceman.

Who is your favorite character from Jewish texts?

I am learning more and more to love Abraham because of his defining character trait: his total and deep faith! That faith, whether it is, as the Jewish tradition suggests, in God, or in himself and his own abilities, is very inspiring to me. This resonates with the trust I have in the process of creation. Making art (or anything) can be full of uncertainty, failures, and opportunities too. Trusting in one’s process and knowing that it will lead to a good place is essential to bringing creative work to life – similar to how Abraham went through a long road filled with obstacles until he arrived to his promised land. 

What do you hope families get out of this book?

In my role as the illustrator of the book, I hope that the images will invite the families to sit together and pay attention to the details in them, discover the diverse objects in them, discuss their possible meaning and eventually feel inspired to create the portrait of a Torah character they specially like or their own self portrait. Not all learning is language based, so I hope the book inspires an understanding of how visuals aid the learning process.

More about Hanoch Piven

Hanoch Piven is an award-winning illustrator, educator and seasoned creative instigator. Piven’s artwork is unique in both form and method. By reinventing the meaning and use of everyday objects he forges associations between these and the subject of his creation. Learn more at


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