Review: A New Week

A New Week

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

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

Category: Picture Books
Reviewer: Rinat Hadad Siegel

A New Week is part of a collection of four board books for very young children, which also includes Start the Day, Shabbat Shalom, and Time for Bed. This particular title introduces children to the ritual of Havdalah, and the greeting said at the end of Shabbat - Shavua Tov. 

The story starts with two toddlers enjoying playing together on the day of rest.  As evening comes, they say goodbye to the sun and Shabbat, and we learn that the week starts at this point, in the evening - a nice touch, as this fact that is not often made clear in children's books. We see the Havdalah candle lit, and we are asked the question, what greeting do we say to welcome this new week? That is when we learn the phrase "shavua tov" - a good week. The book ends with happy kids dancing, with Havdalah items in the background: the multi-wick candle, the spice box, and the wine cup.

The illustrations are cheerful and vivid. The toddlers are not wearing kippot for Havdalah, indicating a modern take on the ritual. The book overall displays a happy and celebratory mood and gives a stage to the ritual of Havdalah with notable moments of coming together to greet the new week. The characters have a variety of skin tones, adding welcome diversity. The book is delightful, and does an excellent job of introducing Havdalah to little ones.

[Ed. Note: This title was recognized on AJL's Spring 2022 Holiday Highlights list]

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Reviewer Rinat Hadad Siegel is a former educator and resource teacher both in Israel and Los Angeles. Rinat received her Bachelor's Degree in Biology from the Ben Gurion University of the Negev and holds a Master's Degree in Education from the American Jewish University in Los Angeles. Rinat is a pre-published author who explores the stories of communities from the Middle East and North Africa to whom she is a descendant. Rinat is an enthusiastic photographer and cook. You can find some of her photos on Instagram at @rinathadadsiegel.


  1. "A New Week" sounds like a delightful reading experience for children and parents. I look forward to reading it to the little ones in my life.


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