I recently returned from Sammy Spider’s 20th birthday celebration in Atlanta Georgia. I was hosted by RuthE Levy (yep, it’s RuthE, not Ruthie), the owner of Oy Toys and And Thou Shalt Read. When RuthE, picked me up at the airport, she welcomed me with a Sammy Spider challah that she had baked. I soon discovered that she is not only an excellent baker but a multi-talented lady with an enormous amount of energy. She had arranged for me to visit Jewish day schools in the area to read to their children. It was a delightful experience that everyone enjoyed.
On Sunday, RuthE hosted a Sammy Spider birthday party for the community. Although severe thunderstorms had been predicted, the day turned out to be a wonderful success. The sun shone brightly over the tents RuthE had set up in the parking lot outside her store. Each tent offered different activities to engage children—there was a science tent complete with a live tarantula, where children and their parents could learn about spiders. Children were able to make birthday crowns, create their own spider to hang on a giant web, listen to music, make their own “spider” cake, drink “spider” smoothies, play spider bingo and word search and of course listen to Sammy Spider stories. There was even a large Sammy Spider sign board where children could sign their names and wish Sammy a happy birthday. Toward the end of the event, RuthE invited all the children to sing Happy Birthday to Sammy and blow out the candles on a huge Sammy Spider birthday cake which was then served to all the attendees.
At the same time, RuthE invited children and their parents to visit her store which houses an amazing variety of children’s books, many on Jewish topics. In addition, her store is home to a vast array of toys for Jewish children. There were games, dolls, puzzles, soft holiday sculptures, craft supplies, children’s menorahs and seder plates, a child size sukkah, Jewish themed bibs and T-shirts, Noah’s arks and so much more, including a huge supply of teacher resource materials.
I live in Los Angeles and I only wish we had something comparable to RuthE’s store. As a grandparent of three grandchildren and a teacher, I know I would spend a good deal of time shopping at such a store. Fortunately, she has a website where anyone can place an order from her complete warehouse of quality merchandise. I encourage you to visit oytoys.com.
Thank you RuthE for a wonderful visit and for hosting Sammy’s 20th Birthday Party for over 400 of Sammy’s friends in Georgia.