The Shabbat Princess

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Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews

The Shabbat Queen, a Talmudic metaphor for the importance of a welcoming, regal atmosphere for family and guests each week, inspires a little girl and her parents to set their table with a few special items.

Rosie wonders whether, since a Shabbat Queen exists, there can also be a Shabbat Princess? Neither her mother nor her father has ever heard of one, but they invite Rosie to be their princess for the evening. Rosie dresses up for the occasion, while her parents add crystal candlesticks and the just-polished silver goblet to the customary best dishes. Rosie's addition of a golden sequined scarf for a challah cover completes a Shabbat table fit for royalty. Pink- and lavender-shaded scenes of a modern home setting (often flanked by a side border of flowered vines) alternate with Rosie's imagined majestic view. A panorama of rolling meadows beyond a castle filled with lords, ladies and court jesters surrounds a tall, bejeweled Shabbat Queen wearing a flowing rose-pink gown and golden crown. Following the three blessings and the banquetlike meal, Rosie wonders aloud about the appropriateness of creating such extravagance and is assured by her parents: "When an honored guest visits our house, she deserves extra-special treatment."

Meltzer's child-oriented tale presents a lovely way to honor the Sabbath with a bit of respectful festivity. (author's note)(Picture book. 4-6)

Children's Literature - Lois Rubin Gross
If your reading group includes pink-loving girls who are perennially clothed in princess dresses, this book will be an immediate winner. From its rose-colored cover to its costume box full of gowns, this book will instantly appeal to fans of Aurora, Belle, and Cinderella while delivering a message about Sabbath observation that should be well-received by Jewish families. This sweet story integrates the observance of the Shabbat dinner and the welcoming of the "Shabbat Queen" with a contemporary tale. Thankfully, the term "Jewish princess" never appears in its pages. Rather the main character, a girl named Rosie thinks that if we celebrate the arrival of Shabbat as a queen, there must be room for a princess, as well. This makes perfect sense if you are a four- or five-year-old girl, as Rosie appears to be. Dressed in her costume box finest—Rosie appears to be an only child with very doting parents—Rosie wants diamonds but settles for the crystal candlesticks her mother produces. A goblet is the Shabbat cup that her father retrieves; clearly, it hasn't been unwrapped since mom and dad's wedding day. Finally, the challah needs an appropriate "garment," so Rosie retrieves a glittery scarf. Bit by bit, Rosie's small family observes the Sabbath meal with ceremony and finery. Pictures by Martha Aviles portray a loving home and highlight Rosie's excitement at creating her own version of Shabbat. Mom and Dad may have fallen down on previous preparations, but it's clear that their weekly dinner will now be infused with a different feel and spirit thanks to Rosie. All in all, this is a delightful book that will be scooped up by princess-obsessed girls looking for an excuse to "dress" for dinner. Reviewer: Lois Rubin Gross
School Library Journal
Pres-Gr 1—The Talmud compares the Jewish Sabbath to a queen whose arrival changes a home into a palace. When Rosie's mother explains this concept to her, the girl decides that she wants to be the Shabbat Princess. She puts on her fanciest dress, finest jewelry, and sparkly tiara and persuades her parents to polish the silver wine goblet, replace the plain brass candlesticks with shiny crystal ones, and trade the ordinary napkin covering the challah for a glittery, sequined scarf. After reciting the blessings and enjoying a delicious meal, the family agrees that the Shabbat Princess has transformed their dinner into a royal banquet. The detailed illustrations, with a heavy dose of pink and purple, depict the warmth and love of this cheerful, contemporary family. Jewish girls who love all things related to princesses, especially fans of Pinkalicious and Fancy Nancy, will delight in this endearing story. It also gives parents and educators the opportunity to discuss the important Jewish values of welcoming guests and using beautiful objects to enhance observances, explained briefly in an author's note.—Rachel Kamin, North Suburban Synagogue Beth El, Highland Park, IL
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780761351429
  • Publisher: Lerner Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 9/1/2011
  • Series: Shabbat Series
  • Format: Library Binding
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 4 - 7 Years
  • Product dimensions: 10.70 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.20 (d)

Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 20, 2011

    This is a delightful tale of how Rosie, the Shabbat Princess, prepares to welcome the Shabbat Queen ...

    Rosie's eyes were bright and she smiled as she helped her mother set the table for Shabbat. The table runner was set to perfection and only the best dishes could be used because the someone special would soon arrive. The table was beautiful, but Rosie wanted to know why everything had to be so perfect. Her mother explained that they were "welcoming the Shabbat Queen" and that "a queen deserves only the best." Queens were nice, but princesses were dandy and Rosie wanted to know if they could invite the Shabbat Princess to the celebration. Naturally her mother and father had never heard of such a thing, but her mother suggested that Rosie be their Shabbat Princess.

    Rosie wasn't very "princess-y" in her jeans and pink shirt with white polka dots so she quickly dashed up the stairs to change. Her dress-up box held magical costumes and jewelry fit for any princess, but the Shabbat Princess was the most beautiful of all and she had to select carefully. Rosie selected a purple flowing gown offset by a sparkling necklace and a shimmering gold tiara. When the Princess descended the staircase her father blew his "imaginary trumpet" and declared, "Announcing the Shabbat Princess." Rosie looked at the table and decided that it was not fit for a queen, let alone a princess. Was there anything special they could do to polish up their table and make it fit for both the Shabbat Queen and Princess?

    This is a delightful tale of how Rosie, the Shabbat Princess, prepares to welcome the Shabbat Queen. One way of introducing Jewish tradition to young children is through the picture book format. Rosie is sweet as she takes part in the celebration by pretending to be a Shabbat Princess. The beautiful illustrations show children how the table is set and they can watch Rosie's mother cover the challah. This tale does not go into detail about the celebration, but sets the scene for parents or caretakers to discuss things such as zakhor and shamor at a later time. This was a charming story about Shabbat with a wonderfully regal twist that would be welcome in any home!

    This book courtesy of the publisher.

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