Green Bean Books

This is My Shabbat

Written by Chris Barash
Illustrated by Aviel Basil

Price: £14.99
Pages: 8
Format: Hardback
ISBN: 9781784386603

Selected as one of the Association of Jewish Libraries’ picks for the best Jewish holiday children’s books of Fall 2023. 

Highlights

  • A perfect bedtime story for early readers

  • Celebrates Jewish traditions in an accessible way

  • Teaches important values of quality time with family and community

  • Vibrant illustrations from an award-winning illustrator

Description

What does your Shabbat look like? Join this little boy and his adorable beagle puppy Ellie for a Shabbat spent in the sun, and learn about traditions and the importance of quality time with family, friends and neighbours.

After a very busy day – walking to the synagogue and back, a delicious picnic with Gran and Uncle Dave, playing on the beach with Sarina – one by one, everyone drifts off to sleep…

With bright and colourful illustrations by an award-winning illustrator, This is My Shabbat is a heart-warming story, perfect for reading together at bedtime.

Author Details

Chris Barash works for the Harold Grinspoon Foundation and is a former Jewish day school teacher and principal. She is the author of more than a dozen books for children, including a series of Jewish holiday books and Lights in the Night (Green Bean Books).

Illustrator Details

Aviel Basil graduated from Shenkar College of Design in Tel Aviv with a bachelor’s degree in graphic design. He currently works and lives in Tel Aviv. Since graduating in 2011, Aviel has illustrated more than 50 children’s books which have been published in Israel. He won a silver medal for his frst book in the Israel Museum 2012 award for children’s book illustration. He has also illustrated for magazines, advertisements and worked on character and background designs for apps and animations. His style is inspired by 50s illustration and he loves to use a bright and colourful palette.

Reviews

‘A blind boy enjoys a leisurely Shabbat with his family. Sensory details such as the hot sun on his face and the sound of sandals clacking along the boardwalk enrich the gentle story, which ends with the family settling in for a Shabbat afternoon nap. The text is printed in both English and Braille, and the illustrations’ sunny palette captures the seaside vibes.’ — Association of Jewish Libraries

“This warmhearted picture book follows a boy and his family on a Saturday as they celebrate Shabbat together–synagogue services, a picnic with extended family, and an impromptu meet-up with neighbours. The boy, who happens to be blind, experiences the Sabbath using his other senses, especially hearing. (The text never says that the child is blind, but the outdoor scenes show him using a white cane and wearing sunglasses.) The story ends with the family drifting off to sleep in anticipation of Havdalah, making it a great choice for bedtime reading. The repeated refrain, “This is my Shabbat” adds a lullaby-like quality to the tale. The story is written in both printed text and Braille. The illustrations’ bright colour palette and detailed panoramas will absorb readers and amplify the joyful atmosphere surrounding Shabbat. The boy’s friend, Sarina, has brown skin, bringing an additional element of diversity to the cast. 

 

This is My Shabbat is a robust contender for the Sydney Taylor Book Award. It celebrates Jewish traditions and embraces the Jewish emphases on family, community and inclusion. The story also serves as an invitation for children to talk about what their own Shabbat looks like – or sounds, tastes, smells or feels like. Highly recommended for the early picture book set.” — Shirley Vernickwww.sydneytaylorshmooze.com

‘I find this book very relaxing. Printed in text and Braille, it features a blind boy and his family enjoying a peaceful Shabbat, attending services, picnicking on the beach, taking naps. The sensory language,  soothing repetition, and sunny illustrations are a winning combination.’  — My Completely Unofficial 2024 Sydney Taylor Book Award Shortlist, The Book of Life podcast

‘With bright and colorful illustrations by an award-winning illustrator, This is My Shabbat is a heart-warming story, perfect for reading together at bedtime.’  – StoryBook Lady (Posted on Amazon.com and GoodReads)