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It's Tot Shabbat!

It's Tot Shabbat!

by Naomi Danis, Tod Cohen (Photographer)

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Joining the It's Time! series, this photographic picture book centers on a preschool class at a synagogue: "while the grown-ups pray, in another room the children play." Cohen's photographs—some candid, some posed—show the children reading about Noah's Ark (then pretending to be the animals in the story), building a Tower of Babel out of cardboard blocks (it tumbles down soon after), enjoying a snack, and eventually rejoining the congregation. A straightforward and reassuring account of ways children celebrate Shabbat. Ages 1�4. (Mar.)
Children's Literature - Judy Silverman
The only word suitable to describe this book is "delightful!" Preschool children come with their parents to the temple on Friday evening. While the parents attend services, the children play in a separate room. They build with blocks, play with dolls, run trucks around the room, and then they have a snack. They say the blessings over the juice and bread, and they take stuffed Torahs from a special Ark. It all seems to be great fun, and is a lovely introduction to the Temple and to Shabbat services. The children are not all the same age; in fact some of them look six or seven, and capable of helping the youngest ones. It's altogether very refreshing. A glossary is helpful, too. Reviewer: Judy Silverman
School Library Journal
PreS—This entry depicts a synagogue Shabbat Club where young children play while their parents attend services. Mixed in with blocks and games like ring-around-the-rosy are listening to a story from the Torah, prayers, and a Shabbat snack of challah and grape juice. Finally, the children join their parents in the sanctuary for the concluding prayers. The title of the book is somewhat misleading since many synagogues define Tot Shabbat as a family-friendly worship service-see Paula Feldstein's The Tot Shabbat Handbook (Urj Press, 2009)—as opposed to a separate baby-sitting scenario. This "what to expect" photo-essay will be most useful in congregations using the model depicted. The text is simple, and despite the inclusion of a basic glossary, the story is clearly meant for readers familiar with Shabbat. Hebrew, English, and transliterated blessings for wine and bread are included at the back. The color photos are realistic and sweet, if a bit cluttered. The style of dress implies non-Orthodox Judaism, and the boys are inconsistent in keeping their heads covered. Several photos near the end of the book may disturb some readers, as they show children holding toy and miniature Torahs upside down or sideways. This may make the book unacceptable in some Jewish settings.—Heidi Estrin, Feldman Children's Library at Congregation B'nai Israel, Boca Raton, FL

Product Details

Kar-Ben Publishing
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
8.70(w) x 8.60(h) x 0.40(d)
Age Range:
2 - 5 Years

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