This bright, cheery, child-friendly, educational Shabbat prayer book for young children has just about everything you might wish to find in such a publication: clear fonts in both Hebrew and English, adorable illustrations, translations and transliterations, directions for when to stand, sit, bow and face the ark, and preschool songs relating to the various themes of the day. It is written with a nondenominational approach and is a companion to a similar volume published for the High Holidays last year. The service is very abbreviated, with the ages of the children in mind, but it contains many of the same prayers found in their parents’ siddurim. Parents and teachers can use this book to prepare children ahead of time for synagogue services; it can also be used during the service itself so the children can follow along at various points in their development and learning It also includes the blessings for kiddush, snack time, and havdalah, the service which ushers Shabbat out at the end of the day. This simple siddur might be of use for special youth services or in youth group settings. It provides a lovely, non-threatening introduction to the world of the synagogue and is highly recommended for ages 4 – 7.
Michal Hoschander Malen is the editor of Jewish Book Council’s young adult and children’s book reviews. A former librarian, she has lectured on topics relating to literacy, run book clubs, and loves to read aloud to her grandchildren.