Review: An Egg for Shabbat


An Egg for Shabbat

by Mirik Snir, illustrated by Eleyor Snir

Kar-Ben Publishing

Category: Picture Books
Reviewer: Laurie Adler

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An Egg for Shabbat, written by Mirik Snir and illustrated by Eleyor Snir, is a thoroughly engaging book for children in preschool through age six. The story is simple and infused with humor: young Ben, eager to help his mother, visits the chicken pen every morning to fetch an egg, only to have something different- OH NO, CRACK- go wrong each day. Mom never gets angry, and by Friday Ben has learned from experience and is finally successful in bringing home an egg, used to make the shiniest challah in honor of Shabbat.

This story is told in rhyme with repeated refrains, perfect for a young audience. The pencil illustrations are uncomplicated and engaging, with soft colorful scenes from mom’s kitchen interspersed with soft blue and gray scenes from the chicken pen. What makes this book a cut above, however, is the design. Each day of the week is divided into its own mini-story, with a page introducing Sunday, followed by the events of that day, then Monday, and so forth, leading up to Ben’s success before Shabbat. The story presented in almost a graphic-novel format, with two or three panels on every page to carry the story along. Even the end pages show attention to detail, with patterns of cats, eggs, and a variety of chickens in colorful collars.

An Egg for Shabbat is certainly eligible for the Sydney Taylor Book Award. It shines with a style, vocabulary, and format perfect for the preschool set. Its simple story is offset by understated sophistication in the design, with details sure to inspire wonder in young audiences. 
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Reviewer Laurie Adler has been working as a children's librarian in a variety of setting for over a decade. She is currently the head librarian in an elementary school in New York City.