Lights Out Shabbat

Sarene Shulim­son; Jeff Ebbel­er, illus.
  • Review
By – August 7, 2012

Cel­e­brate Shab­bat the South­ern way with this charm­ing episod­ic adven­ture that under­lines the true mean­ing of this week­ly holi­day — fam­i­ly love and devo­tion. When a young boy goes to vis­it his grand­par­ents in Atlanta for a sleep­over, a sur­prise snow­storm hits the area, caus­ing a loss of elec­tric­i­ty. The fes­tiv­i­ties go on with­out the lights and the lit­tle boy rev­els in the Shab­bat tra­di­tions of light­ing the can­dles and enjoy­ing a spe­cial­ly pre­pared meal that includes a braid­ed chal­lah, cheese blintzes, and wine. As the week­end con­tin­ues and the lights still do not go on, the fam­i­ly enjoys qui­et time togeth­er tak­ing a neigh­bor­hood walk, mak­ing a snow­man, and look­ing at the stars in the sky. As Papa” and the young boy recite the bless­ing of hav­dalah to mark the clos­ing of a day of rest, the lights blink and mys­te­ri­ous­ly come back on to begin a new week. Col­or­ful, detailed acrylic illus­tra­tions add warmth and humor to this whim­si­cal sto­ry. Paired with Many Days, One Shab­bat by Fran Manushkin (2011, reviewed on this page), this would be a great intro­duc­tion for younger chil­dren to the sig­nif­i­cance of Shab­bat. Rec­om­mend­ed for ages 2 – 8.

Read­ing Guide

Debra Gold has been a children’s librar­i­an for over 20 years in the Cuya­hoga Coun­ty Pub­lic Library Sys­tem. An active mem­ber of the ALA, she has served on many com­mit­tees includ­ing the Calde­cott, New­bery and Batchelder committees.

Discussion Questions