Review: Shabbat Shalom

 Shabbat Shalom

by Douglas Florian, illustrated by Hannah Tolson


Category: Picture Books
Reviewer: Chava Pinchuck

This board book has few words and colorful, cute illustrations. Although one would not attribute "literary quality," it definitely stands out in the category. The rhymes are very simple, "We hurry home. Shabbat Shalom!" The pictures are what make the book interesting, as they depict an observant family, with the father, grandfather and son wearing huge kippot, and the mother and grandmother wearing head coverings that look like babushkas from the shtetl. If I were going to nit pick, I would change “A prayer is said on challah bread” to “a blessing is said” and for “the food is sweet,” I would change the picture from chicken soup to dessert. That said, the book meets the Sydney Taylor Book Award criteria with its authentic, positive presentation of the Sabbath for the very youngest children.

Are you interested in reviewing books for The Sydney Taylor Shmooze? Click here!

Reviewer Chava (Kathe) Pinchuck worked in private and public libraries in New Jersey before making aliyah in 2012. In Israel she has worked as a cataloger of legal documents and a cybrarian for a distance learning institution. She is a past chair of the Sydney Taylor Book Award Committee, past co-editor of the Children's and YA Book Reviews for AJL News and Reviews, and the current editor of the Jewish Values Finder, a database of Jewish children's books. [Ed. Note: Chava is one of the co-chairs of The Sydney Taylor Shmooze.]