The Shabbat Box

The Shabbat Box

by Lesley Simpson, Nicole in den Bosch

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
"Every Friday someone got to take home the Shabbat Box." When Ira's turn finally comes, it is snowing hard, and the little boy loses the box on his walk home from school. Deeply distressed, he can't eat or sleep until he comes up with the idea to make a new Shabbat Box and fill it with the implements used to celebrate the Jewish Sabbath—candles, a special wine cup, a game to play with the family and candies for sweetness. Ira stays up all Saturday night preparing the new box so that he can present it at show-and-tell on Monday. Simpson has a simple, comforting style that captures the sounds of children's speech, and she understands how much Ira looks forward to bringing the beloved box home and how devastating is its loss. Bosch's cozy, colorful illustrations create a world of comfort, adult helpfulness and tolerance that any child—Jewish or not—would want to inhabit. Despite some disagreement between text and pictures, the art fully expresses the story. Without overt teaching or preaching, Simpson and Bosch convey the joy and beauty of the Sabbath as celebrated in observant Jewish homes. 2001, Kar-Ben Copies, $6.95. Ages 4 to 7. Reviewer: Miriam Rinn
School Library Journal
PreS-K-Ira can't wait until it is his turn to bring home his class's "Shabbat Box," but when it finally comes, he loses the box in a snowstorm. Extremely upset, he takes his mother's words to heart when she asks, "How do you think we can solve this?" and he makes a new one to replace the original. Everyone at school loves it, but it turns out that his teacher found the lost box in the snow, so now there are two. The cartoon illustrations are done in a rather cloying greeting-card style and most people have round, red, pursed lips. The concept of Shabbat and the box's importance are never really explained, which limits the book's accessibility to people familiar with the holiday. Ira's dilemma and his solution are positive plot elements, if somewhat predictable, and the simple text, which captures the child's voice and concerns, will be accessible to young listeners. Libraries with a strong need for more picture books with Jewish themes and protagonists may want to consider this basic offering, but most will find it an additional purchase.-Amy Lilien-Harper, The Ferguson Library, Stamford, CT Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

Product Details

Lerner Publishing Group
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
8.30(w) x 10.80(h) x 0.20(d)
Age Range:
3 - 6 Years

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