Review: Soosie: The Horse That Saved Shabbat

Soosie: The Horse That Saved Shabbat

by Tami Lehman-Wilzig, illustrated by Menahem Halberstadt

Kalaniot Books

Category: Picture Books
Reviewer: Kathy Bloomfield

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This charming book is based on a memory from the grandson of the owners of Angel Bakery in Jerusalem, the largest commercial bakery in Israel. When the baker’s delivery boy gets sick and cannot deliver the Shabbat challah to the residents of Jerusalem, his horse, Soosie, takes over and “clip-clops, clip-clops” her way through the entire delivery route on her own. The delightful, cartoon-like illustrations reflect the diverse nature of Jerusalem in the early 20th century with Jews from all over the world, illustrated by their clothing styles and physical features, coming together for their Shabbat challah.

This true story turned folktale is a wonderful look at Israel prior to the founding of the State. “Some Notes from the Author” in the back of the book provide historical background, Information about Shabbat and more.

This book has everything it needs to be a Sydney Taylor honor winner – a good story, lovely illustrations, and background information that is well-researched.

Editors' Note: This title was named a Spring 2021 Holiday Highlights book by the Association of Jewish Libraries.

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Reviewer Kathy Bloomfield is the President of the Association of Jewish Libraries. She is working hard during the COVID-19 pandemic to upgrade her long dormant website, She lives in Seal Beach, CA.