Preparing for the Friday night Shabbat ceremony and meal is a joyous expression of faith and tradition.
Shabbat is the most important ritual observance in Judaism, beginning on Friday night at sundown and lasting until Saturday night at sundown. It is a day of prayer and rest, an abstention from all forms of work. “Shabbat Shalom, Hey” is a song that children sing in anticipation of Shabbat, and here, the song lyrics are the only text. The slight tale is told solely via the illustrations, which are viewed by turning the book vertically. Bright color blocks surrounded by white provide the backgrounds. A lion states the Sabbath greeting and is startled to hear a response of “Hey!” from a toucan peeking over the top edge of the frame. Repeating the greeting elicits the same response from a monkey and a snake, this time at the bottom edge. The lion continues his greetings with increasing levels of excitement until the other creatures join in with him, bringing the traditional accouterments of the Shabbat dinner in the form of candlesticks, a wine goblet and the traditional braided bread called challah. It is lively and entertaining, but it presumes an audience that knows the traditions. A recording of the song can be downloaded via QR code on the back of the book.
Charming and joyous but not for the uninitiated. (Picture book. 3-5)