Dinosaur on Shabbat

Diane Levin Rauch­w­erg­er; Jason Wolff, illus.
  • Review
By – May 14, 2012
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.

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.

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