Written by a Hebrew day-school teacher, and inspired by a myriad of her students’ experiences over the years, Shabbat in the Playroom is the charming tale of a young Jewish girl who loves Shabbat. Shira has tried to persuade her parents to create Shabbat at home but they either fail to notice her enthusiasm or are just too involved in their own activities so she decides to create it for herself. Using her imagination, she transforms various items from her room such as dolls, toys, and pieces of cloth into pretend Jewish artifacts needed for Kabbalat Shabbat. Lego blocks become candles, dolls and teddy bears make excellent guests, a tissue-stuffed brown sock looks just like a challah, a pillowcase works as tablecloth, a Hebrew book becomes a siddur, and a plastic cup is perfect for kiddush.
Shira performs her ritual happily and enthusiastically. She doesn’t know her parents are watching at her bedroom door. Her parents are so impressed by her dedication and by the beauty of the Shabbat she has created that they promise to make this into a regular family ritual in their home.
This inspiring and empowering story is beautifully illustrated with simple drawings. It also includes the Hebrew texts for the necessary prayers and songs so children can recreate the experience in their own homes. It might have been helpful for some of the intended audience had the prayers been translated and transliterated, as well.
This is a wonderful addition to a Jewish child’s home library and would also be useful in school programs. Recommended for ages 4 – 7.