Many Days, One Shabbat

Many Days, One Shabbat

by Fran Manushkin, Maria Monescillo
A family celebrates Shabbat


A family celebrates Shabbat

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Manushkin and Monescillo's beautiful book teaches concepts and culture at the same time. The titular theme of "many and one" is repeated on each two-page spread that presents from a child's perspective ordinary activities ("one box, many colors"; "one shirt, many buttons") in a household as the family prepares for a Shabbat celebration with friends. Monescillo's illustrations use simple lines, but her scenes have detail, offering a visual complement to the narrative that highlights the actions of readying for Shabbat. The book is a selection of the PJ Library, which supports materials for parents to teach their children about Judaism. It will work well at home for families and also in religious education classes. Ages 3–8. (Oct.)
Children's Literature - Jeanne Pettenati
A boy and his parents spend the day getting ready for Shabbat dinner. As they go through their chores, there is satisfaction and contentment on their faces. All pitch in to clean the house, to garden, bake bread, and set the table. The boy takes time to make the table festive in anticipation of their ritual. Each simple task is done with care and attention. And, at last, their long awaited guests (friends or relatives) arrive for dinner. It is clear that each family member has respect and affection for the others. In a world where we often see multitasking as the rule, not the exception, readers will see small chores being done mindfully; i.e., sweeping the floor and buttoning a shirt. The simple text follows the format of the title, i.e., many rooms, one house, etc. One concept is presented on each page spread, and so, this idea that one thing may have many components. The colorful illustrations infuse the text with meaning. A lovely, age-appropriate introduction to Shabbat and its role in family tradition. Reviewer: Jeanne Pettenati
School Library Journal
PreS—A contemporary Jewish family prepares for Shabbat (the Sabbath) in this spare, simple story. Four words on each spread follow the same format: "One morning. Many kisses"; "One house. Many rooms"; One flower. Many pedals" as the digitally enhanced watercolors pleasantly depict a boy and his parents cleaning their house, polishing the candlesticks, picking flowers, kneading dough, making decorations, getting dressed, welcoming guests, lighting the Sabbath candles, passing around slices of the braided challah, and saying goodnight. Head coverings are absent; the traditional blessings over the candles, bread, and wine are not mentioned; and the special meal appears to consist only of soup and bread. The absence of an author's note limits the book's audience to families already familiar with the rituals and customs of Shabbat. Those looking for more direction will find Michelle Shapiro Abraham's Shabbat Shalom! (URJ Press, 2003), Cathy Goldberg Fishman's On Shabbat (S & S, 2001), and Miriam Nerlove's Shabbat (Albert Whitman, 1998) more satisfying.—Rachel Kamin, North Suburban Synagogue Beth El, Highland Park, IL

Product Details

Amazon Childrens Publishing
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
9.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.40(d)
BR (what's this?)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

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