Kay­la and Kugel

  • Review
By – May 19, 2015

When a lit­tle girl named Kay­la and her mis­chie­vous dog named Kugel set the table for Shab­bat, can­dle­sticks go fly­ing, the kid­dush cup is miss­ing, and paw prints appear on the white table­cloth, but their Shab­bat cel­e­bra­tion is still love­ly when shared with their family.

Kay­la and Kugel, with its vibrant illus­tra­tions and brief text, teach­es preschool­ers about Shab­bat with joy and fun. The sto­ry includes live­ly action and the images effec­tive­ly depict the excite­ment of get­ting ready for Shab­bat. Young chil­dren will enjoy the puppy’s antics while learn­ing the sym­bols of Shab­bat and the impor­tance of fam­i­ly to this week­ly celebration.

The author includes a note to adults at the end of the book explain­ing the Jew­ish con­cepts of shalom bay­it — peace in the home — and hid­dur mitz­vah — using beau­ti­ful objects to enhance a reli­gious prac­tice. She also offers ques­tions to extend the learn­ing and an online activ­i­ty guide.

High­ly rec­om­mend­ed for ages 3 – 5.

Paula Chaiken has worked in a vari­ety of capac­i­ties in the Jew­ish world — teach­ing in reli­gious school, curat­ing at the Sper­tus Muse­um and fundrais­ing for the Fed­er­a­tion — for more than twen­ty years. She also runs a bou­tique pub­lic rela­tions con­sult­ing firm and enjoys read­ing all sorts of books with her three sons.

Discussion Questions