Rachel Kamin is the Director of the Joseph and Mae Gray Cultural & Learning Center at North Suburban Synagogue Beth El in Highland Park, Illinois. A past chair of the Sydney Taylor Book Award Committee, Rachel is currently the co-editor of Book Reviews for Children & Teens for the Association of Jewish Libraries Newsletter. She holds a BA in history from Grinnell College and a master’s degree in library and information science from the University of Michigan.
Dinosaur on Shabbat
The friendly, oversized dinosaur from Dinosaur on Hanukkah and Dinosaur on Passover, returns to celebrate Shabbat with a young boy and his contemporary family. In silly, rhyming text, Dino tries to help with Shabbat preparations: setting the table, lighting the candles, pouring the wine, and blessing the challah. He also joins the family in the synagogue on Shabbat morning and participates in Havdalah. As in the past, his size, enthusiasm, and clumsiness create havoc, but “when Shabbat is over Dino leaves without a fuss. But I know next Friday he’ll be back to share Shabbat with us.” The illustrations complement the fun and cheery mood of the text, but are a bit inconsistent. For example, the text refers to a white tablecloth while the illustration appears in blue, and Dino sometimes wears a baseball cap but at other times (like in synagogue) his head is bare. A brief end note explains Shabbat, however, there would be added value if it included the lyrics and music to “The Dinosaur Song” (There’s a dinosaur knocking at my door, knocking one, two, three…there’s a dinosaur knocking at my door and he wants to spend Shabbat with me…) — a natural pairing for a preschool storytime program. For ages 3 – 5.
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