Review: Bedtime For Maziks

Bedtime for Maziks

by Yael Levy, illustrated by Nabila Adani

Kar-Ben Publishing (imprint of Lerner Publishing Group), 2022

Category: Picture Books
Reviewer: Shanna Silva

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In Bedtime for Maziks, the story opens with a definition of the Yiddish word “mazik,” to explain to readers (like me), who may be unfamiliar with the term. A mazik is a mischief maker, and in this book’s context, a rambunctious child, who is “rumbly tumbly” and causes a “ruckus.” Told in gentle rhyme, it takes the reader through the day and nighttime routine of adorable sibling maziks. The illustrations are done in a colorful, playful palette, and the book features a number of wordless spreads where the art speaks for itself. The maziks are portrayed with fangs, animal ears and paws, yet they are endearing and friendly. Their messy playfulness will be a familiar sight to parents and kids alike.

Subtle Judaic elements are woven into the art: Stars of David, Hebrew letters, a Jewish folklore book and a Shabbat dinner with challah, grape juice and candles. The book is a joyous, fun day-in-the-life portrayal. Meals, playground time, and school provide the background for the creatures to flourish in their mischief making. Diverse children are included as playmates.

This book contains Jewish content in text and illustrations, including a Shabbat dinner and a goodnight sh’ma recital. Even without back matter explaining these customs, the fun, familiar vibe has many positive Judaic elements. Bedtime for Maziks skews on the young side of the recommended ages of 4-9, and is appropriate for children of all backgrounds and religions. This book is sure to be a favorite, enjoyed repeatedly.

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Reviewer Shanna Silva is an award-winning author and Broadway producer. She has written three children’s picture books: A Dog’s Guide to Being Human, Hannah’s Hanukkah Hiccups and Passover Scavenger Hunt. Shanna is also the author of over 40 hi/lo books for emerging readers. Her work has been featured in Kveller, Bella Magazine, Twins Magazine, Multiples Illuminated I and II, and Chicken Soup for the Soul. Shanna lives in New York with her family and a meshuggenah sheepadoodle named Drake.