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Cover image for Lights out Shabbat
Lights out Shabbat

Publication Information:
Minneapolis : Kar-Ben Pub., ©2012.
Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 22 x 25 cm
A grandchild spending the weekend with Nana and Papa celebrates Shabbat during a rare Georgia snowfall when the power goes out.
Reading Level:
Ages 2-8.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 2.8 0.5 149757.
Added Author:


Call Number
J White (Shulimson)

On Order



A little boy spends Shabbat with his grandparents in Georgia and gets a snowy surprise.

Reviews 5

School Library Journal Review

K-Gr 2-A rare snowstorm in Georgia knocks out the electricity one Friday night just as Shabbat begins. A boy spends the visit with his grandparents playing in the snow and enjoying their time together. Just after Havdalah (the end of the Jewish Sabbath), the power is restored. "`It looks like Shabbat is over for the electricity, too,' says the boy, `I guess even the lights needed a Shabbat rest!'" This is a quietly pleasant story, offering a cozy portrayal of intergenerational bonding and traditions being passed along. There seems to be some attempt to build tension by the repetition of the line, "But the lights did not come on," but the relaxed nature of the tale prevails. There is no big adventure or lesson to be had here, just a slice of contemporary Jewish life, notable for its location, a setting rarely seen in Jewish children's lit. The casual, slightly gawky paintings reinforce the family's ordinariness, and the lemon-lime cast that dominates the art adds a sort of Southern juiciness. A solid purchase for Judaica collections, and an additional purchase elsewhere.-Heidi Estrin, Feldman Children's Library at Congregation B'nai Israel, Boca Raton, FL (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Publisher's Weekly Review

Shulimson's first children's book is a sweet story of a boy's overnight visit to his grandparents' house. It's an unusual Friday in Georgia, for the lights go out and it snows. According to the rules of Shabbat, no light may be either turned on or off during the Sabbath, so Papa and Nana perform the routine Shabbat celebration, lighting candles, saying prayers, and spending family time appreciating the snow, the stars, and one another in the dark. Told from the boy's point of view, the darkened house and the snow are both fun and mysterious, and the familiar rituals he and his grandparents perform together are comforting. Ebbeler's (April Fool, Phyllis!) illustrations employ rich yellows, greens, and reds, and his casual-seeming strokes underscore the comfortable familial love the characters share. The story captures the essence of Shabbat as a day of rest, of family time, and of giving thanks. When the electricity returns, Papa says, "I guess even the lights needed a Shabbat rest." The suggestion of suspense about the duration of the blackout and the boy's grandparents calm acceptance of it reminds readers of the mystery of God. Ages 2-8. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Horn Book Review

A boy and his grandparents lose power after lighting the Shabbat candles--but they nevertheless enjoy a holiday that includes a special meal, playing in the snow, and stargazing. When electricity is restored, the boy concludes that "even the lights needed a Shabbat rest." Accompanied by richly colored illustrations (that depict a particularly unattractive Nana), the story is bland but amiable. (c) Copyright 2012. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Kirkus Review

(Picture book. 4-6)]] Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Booklist Review

Snowfalls are exciting, especially when they are rare, and this bright picture book captures the thrill of an unexpected storm in a small Georgia town, where a young Jewish boy describes how he celebrates Shabbat with his loving grandparents. On Friday night, the storm causes a power outage, and the cheerful double-page spreads contrast the snow swirling outside with the warm candlelit interiors as Nana prepares a delicious Shabbat dinner. The next morning, there is still no electricity, and Nana says a special prayer, thanking God for keeping the house warm. According to tradition, the family spends the day in leisurely fashion. Walking around the neighborhood, the boy watches snowmen melt and listens to his grandfather's stories. At night, they look at the stars while the lights remain off, until, finally, all of a sudden, the power comes back. The warm family bonds and the religious ritual are as much fun as the dramatic storm, and so is the boy's final wry comment: I guess even the lights needed a Shabbat rest. --Rochman, Hazel Copyright 2010 Booklist