Sylvia A. Rouss is an award-winning author and early childhood educator, and the creator of the popular Sammy Spider series, celebrating its 25th anniversary with over half a million Sammy Spider books sold. She lives in California. Katherine Janus Kahn studied Fine Arts at the Bezalel School in Jerusalem and at the University of Iowa. She has illustrated many children's books including Kar-Ben's popular Sammy Spider series. She lives in Wheaton, Maryland.
Only very young children will appreciate simple lessons of this book that explains the Shabbat from a spider's point of view. While watering the flowers in his mother's garden one Friday morning, Josh breaks Sammy the spider's web. When Sammy asks his mother what Josh is doing, she tells him that Josh's family is preparing to celebrate Shabbat. Sammy watches Josh set the table with candles, wine, and the kiddush cups. As he watches Josh and his mother braid the Shabbat challah, Sammy decides to try the same braids on his torn web and, unknowingly, repairs his web. After a brief nap, Sammy wakes to the sounds of the Josh's family singing "Shabbat Shalom." Kahn's papercut figures, though colorful, are blurry, disproportionate and cold, making the characters appear unrealistic and stiff. The final page contains a recipe for "Josh Shapiro's Favorite Challah" as well as the "Challah Blessing" and a "Blessing Over Bread." Ages 3-8. (Feb.)
K-Gr 2ÄYoung Sammy Spider, who observed Rosh Hashanah, Hanukkah, and Passover in earlier titles, now celebrates the Shabbat (Sabbath) with the Shapiro family. From his vantage point of the kitchen window, he sees the Shapiros preparing for the coming of the Shabbat. As Mrs. Shapiro teaches her son to braid challah, Sammy braids his web along with them. This sweet story, told in very simple language, accurately portrays this Jewish ritual. Kahn's large, bright, mixed-media cut-paper illustrations enhance the childlike mood of the narrative. The last page offers a traditional challah recipe, the challah blessing, and the blessing over bread. It is unfortunate that there is no glossary for the Hebrew words. A gentle story for any collection.ÄMalka Keck, The Temple Tifereth Israel, Beachwood, OH