Under the Sabbath Lamp

Michael Herman, illus. by Alida Massari. Kar-Ben, $17.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-5124-0841-6
Izzy and Olivia Bloom, a charming older couple, are welcomed into their new neighbors’ homes for Shabbat dinners, and then host a Friday night dinner of their own. But when the guests arrive, they’re puzzled to find that the Blooms don’t own a pair of Shabbat candlesticks; instead the Blooms have an old and beautiful star-shaped Shabbat lamp, which hangs from ceiling and burns olive oil. The story behind the lamp, shared by Izzy, encompasses shtetl life, the Jewish immigrant experience, and one family’s determination “to be whole again” after a long separation; it also prompts the Blooms’ guests to appreciate anew their own cherished Shabbat artifacts. “We’ve all inherited treasures,” Izzy observes. Herman, making his debut, builds a lovely tale around an unusual piece of Judaica (further explained in an afterword) and a close-knit community of Jewish families where Shabbat is an essential part of the week, joyfully observed and shared. The golden hues of Massari’s images reflect both the light of the Shabbat lamp and the generous emotional warmth radiating from her characters and their inviting homes. Ages 3–8. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 01/16/2017
Release date: 01/01/2017
Genre: Children's
Paperback - 32 pages - 978-1-5124-0843-0
Hardcover - 978-1-5124-2726-4
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