Review: Lights in the Night

Lights in the Night: A Story for Shabbat

by Chris Barash, illustrated by Maya Shleifer

Green Bean Books

Category: Picture Books
Reviewer: Shirley Reva Vernick

This short picture book for the youngest audiences charmingly celebrates Shabbat through the symbol of light. Dusk falls gently on a Friday evening in a waterfront village. There, a mother, father and small boy welcome the Sabbath while admiring the different sources of light that contribute to their joy. In addition to the radiance of the Sabbath candles, there are flashlights, lanterns, a lighthouse, the moon and stars, fireflies, and of course a bedroom nightlight. 
Told in spare, rhyming verse, this story is accompanied by soft, earth-tone illustrations that showcase the Shabbat rituals of candles, challah and family time. The hardcover version glows in the dark—a feature that is sure to be a bedtime hit with youngsters. I highly recommend this delightful book for ages 0-4.  

Lights in the Night is a Sydney Taylor contender. It celebrates Shabbat as a beacon of light in our week, a time to come together as a family, and an opportunity to rest.
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Reviewer Shirley Reva Vernick is a middle-grade and young-adult novelist. Shirley’s debut novel, The Blood Lie, is a Sydney Taylor honor book and the winner of the Simon Wiesenthal Once Upon A World Book Award. Her Jewish-themed MG novel, RIPPED AWAY, will be published by Regal House Publishing on February 8, 2022.