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.
Lights Out Shabbat
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.
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