A family celebrates Havdalah, or the end of Shabbat, at sundown.
In a suburban neighborhood, a kippah-wearing youngster helps get ready by filling the kiddush cup. Parents, sister, and spotted dog join the scene to light a braided candle and smell the spice box. The mom recites a prayer as the candle burns, and then the candle is extinguished in the cup by the dad. A group of “family and friends” arrive and join the festivities, a black-presenting man in a kippah adding diversity to the otherwise all-white cast. The gathering ends with everyone joining hands to sing and celebrate the beginning of the week, but sharp-eyed readers will note that the havdalah candle seems to have been lit again after it had been extinguished. Many of the players appear to be returning from other titles in the A Holiday Is Coming! series. Punctuated with the refrain “Havdalah is coming,” the rhyming text provides gentle narration, but it won’t explain the ritual to the uninitiated. Garofoli’s collage-style art in highly saturated colors is amiable and bright.
This simple, family-centered account of weekly observance should be welcome in many Jewish homes. (Board book. 18 mos.-4)