Review: Time for Bed

Time for Bed

by Vicki L. Weber, illustrated by Shirley Ng-Benitez

Apples & Honey Press (imprint of Behrman House), 2022

Category: Picture Books
Reviewer: Shirley Vernick

The six full-page spreads in this upbeat board book show increasingly drowsy babies and toddlers getting ready for bed before wishing each other lailah tov (good night). The full-color illustrations and a handful of rhyming lines take the babies through bathtime, story reading, singing, and goodnight hugs and cuddles. The adults and children have white, brown and black skin, adding appreciated diversity to the book.

Time For Bed models a happy bedtime routine – including the Hebrew goodnight wishes – followed by a peaceful sleep. Babies and toddlers will enjoy its cheerful, comforting content, plus the opportunity to practice a sweet Hebrew phrase. 

While this book is a welcome addition to libraries for the youngest Jewish children, the only Jewish-specific content is the term lailah tov, which appears once in the text, on the last page. (The term also appears on one of the baby’s pajamas; the pajamas are shown on the book cover and on one of the inside pages.) Consequently, this book may not have enough Jewish content to qualify for the Sydney Taylor Book Award. Still, it’s a happy, reassuring introduction to books for and about Jewish children. Warmly recommended.

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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, was released by Regal House Publishing on February 8, 2022.