Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Annie and her family make all the traditional preparations for the weekly Jewish Shabbat in this informative picture book. From bathing and wearing a special dress to setting out silver wine goblets and helping Mama with the chicken dinner, Annie prepares for the important Friday evening rituals of her faith. Mama lights candles, Daddy sings the kiddush and everyone enjoys a delicious meal topped off by apple pie. A Saturday visit to the synagogue with Grandma and Grandpa becomes part of the Shabbat celebration. Through Annie's young and enthusiastic voice, Lamstein conveys the practices of a contemporary Jewish family. Brimming with facts and sprinkled with Hebrew terms, Lamstein's text explores such essential symbols of the day as the Torah, challah and Shabbat candles, and relays the ancient stories of their origins. Lang's figures, painted on rice paper and glued onto painted backgrounds, convey the warmth of a loving family and their joy in their beliefs. Jewish families will find much that is familiar here, while those outside the faith may deepen their understanding of the Jewish sabbath. A short glossary is included. Ages 6-10. (Sept.)
Children's Literature - Rebecca Joseph
In this simply written and illustrated children's book, young Annie celebrates the Jewish Sabbath with her family. From the rituals performed before dinner on Friday night to the service at synagogue on Saturday, Annie has a wonderful time exploring her family's and the Jewish people's history as well as revelling in the joy of the day.
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
K-Gr 3--In six very short chapters, a family prepares for the weekly observance, enjoys the Shabbat meal and its accompanying ceremonies and songs, attends the synagogue service, and participates in the Saturday evening Havdalah ritual. The story is merely a vehicle for coveying information about the Sabbath, either through Biblical and historical stories, or as explained by Annie, the youngest of the three children. Full-page, jewel-toned illustrations made from rice paper that is cut, painted, and glued onto solid backgrounds help to clarify the narrative and create a cheery, appealing format. Lamstein's very basic introduction to the holiday, despite its appended glossary, will leave non-Jewish children confused about various practices, while Jewish children whose families observe the Sabbath each week may find in the story a comfortable reflection of their own experience. Fran Manushkin's Starlight and Candles (S & S, 1995) includes the customs of giving money to charity and inviting others to share in the Sabbath meal. Manushkin's use of family reminiscences rather than the Bible lessons gives that book a cozy warmth that relays the essence of the feeling of Sabbath joy to its readers.--Susan Scheps, Shaker Heights Public Library, OH