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Sammy Spider's First Shabbat

Sammy Spider's First Shabbat

by Sylvia A. Rouss, Katherine Janus Kahn (Illustrator)

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Only very young children will appreciate simple lessons of this book that explains the Shabbat from a spider's point of view. While watering the flowers in his mother's garden one Friday morning, Josh breaks Sammy the spider's web. When Sammy asks his mother what Josh is doing, she tells him that Josh's family is preparing to celebrate Shabbat. Sammy watches Josh set the table with candles, wine, and the kiddush cups. As he watches Josh and his mother braid the Shabbat challah, Sammy decides to try the same braids on his torn web and, unknowingly, repairs his web. After a brief nap, Sammy wakes to the sounds of the Josh's family singing "Shabbat Shalom." Kahn's papercut figures, though colorful, are blurry, disproportionate and cold, making the characters appear unrealistic and stiff. The final page contains a recipe for "Josh Shapiro's Favorite Challah" as well as the "Challah Blessing" and a "Blessing Over Bread." Ages 3-8. (Feb.)
School Library Journal
K-Gr 2Young Sammy Spider, who observed Rosh Hashanah, Hanukkah, and Passover in earlier titles, now celebrates the Shabbat (Sabbath) with the Shapiro family. From his vantage point of the kitchen window, he sees the Shapiros preparing for the coming of the Shabbat. As Mrs. Shapiro teaches her son to braid challah, Sammy braids his web along with them. This sweet story, told in very simple language, accurately portrays this Jewish ritual. Kahn's large, bright, mixed-media cut-paper illustrations enhance the childlike mood of the narrative. The last page offers a traditional challah recipe, the challah blessing, and the blessing over bread. It is unfortunate that there is no glossary for the Hebrew words. A gentle story for any collection.Malka Keck, The Temple Tifereth Israel, Beachwood, OH

Product Details

Lerner Publishing Group
Publication date:
High Holidays Series
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
8.22(w) x 11.14(h) x 0.10(d)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

Read an Excerpt

Sammy Spider's First Shabbat

By Sylvia A. Rouss, Katherine Janus Kahn

Kar-Ben Publishing

Copyright © 1997 Sylvia Rouss
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-58013-007-3



Early Friday morning, Sammy Spider looked out the Shapiros' kitchen window.

Josh was turning on the garden hose.

Suddenly a spray of water hit the window and Sammy jumped back, snapping a strand of his web.

"Mother!" he called, as he began to fall.

Mrs. Spider caught Sammy midair.

"What's Josh doing?" Sammy asked, catching his breath.

"He's watering the flower beds," she explained. "Tonight, when the family gathers for Shabbat dinner,

Mrs. Shapiro will put fresh flowers on the table."

"Will we celebrate Shabbat, too?" Sammy asked. "Silly little Sammy," answered Mrs. Spider.

"Spiders don't celebrate Shabbat. Spiders spin webs. And you need to fix the new hole in ours."

"I'll fix it later," said Sammy.

He was busy watching Mr. Shapiro unpack a bag full of groceries for Shabbat dinner. Sammy looked down at all the food. "I wish I could celebrate Shabbat," he thought.

But when he saw his torn web reflected in the wine bottle, he remembered his mother's words.

"Spiders don't celebrate Shabbat. Spiders spin webs."

"I'll fix it later," thought Sammy, following Josh into the dining room.

Josh put a bottle of wine on the table. He took out the kiddush cups and candlesticks and put them next to the wine. He put candles into the candlesticks.

Instead, he wandered back into the kitchen. Josh had finished lunch, and he was helping Mrs. Shapiro make challah.


Excerpted from Sammy Spider's First Shabbat by Sylvia A. Rouss, Katherine Janus Kahn. Copyright © 1997 Sylvia Rouss. Excerpted by permission of Kar-Ben Publishing.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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