Review: Rising



by Sidura Ludwig, illustrated by Sophia Vincent Guy

Candlewick Press, 2024

Category: Picture Books
Reviewer: Freidele Galya Soban Biniashvili
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Replete with similes, metaphors, one-word line breaks, and beautiful imagery, Sidura Ludwig's Rising is picture book poetry at its finest. Told in the first person from the perspective of the child narrator, the reader is invited along as she bakes challah with Ima (who is expecting). Shabbat dinner is held in a beautiful outdoor setting in the backyard, complete with guests. The story ends on a joyful note with newborn baby in Ima's arms and the protagonist handing the challah bowl to Abba who is donning the apron.

Complementing the flowing text, Sophia Vincent Guy's gorgeous illustrations are warm and soft, evoking in each spread the calming feeling that Shabbat brings into a home.

Back matter includes a glossary of eight Hebrew words; kudos for the accurate definition of Shabbat in terms of when it concludes (one hour after sundown the next day), as well as an author's note explaining her family's observance of Shabbat and connection to challah, which she herself makes each week. A challah recipe that little ones will eagerly wish to attempt rounds out this welcome addition to home and school libraries.

Editor's Note: This book was included on the Association of Jewish Libraries' Spring 2024 Holiday Highlights list.

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Reviewer Freidele Galya Soban Biniashvili is the author of
Mystery at Peasant's Inn, Just One Match, Mystery at Nightlight Resort, Mendel and the Pencil, The Mystery of the Lost Watch and many other titles for readers of all ages. After a fulfilling career in clinical research at a teaching hospital, she now enjoys working in the library at an all-boys elementary school. (Bio illustration courtesy of Michael Biniashvili.)


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