The concept of one/many runs throughout this Shabbat story featuring a modern family as it prepares to host a low-key Sabbath dinner.
In the many days of the week, there is only one Shabbat. A young boy and his parents work together to make their one house with many rooms ready for their evening guests, cleaning, picking flowers in the garden, making challah, creating napkin holders and finally getting dressed. “One person. / Many fingers. // One box. / Many colors. // One shirt. / Many buttons.” Lighting candles with one match and slicing the one challah into many pieces serve as the foci of this Shabbat table around which children and adults gather. While wine glasses are part of the table setting, none of the three basic prayers for the weekly celebration is included. The simplicity of this string of one/many statements, often just four words per page, means the organic, clean, double-page illustrations convey the story through the characters and their action. A more religiously observant crowd may quibble about the lack of yarmulkes, but this easy-going introduction recognizes the importance of observing a weekly ritual that simply ensures one family-oriented evening each week.
This light and unencumbered overture holds a substantial message for young Jewish families. (Picture book. 2-4)