The Shabbat Princess – A Book Review

Every week the kids and I go to the library – and every week it’s the same thing.  I say “okay, everyone can pick out 1, and I mean only 1 book.” Hadyn says, “I’m going to the computer, come get me when you are done.”  Ava, walks up to me 1.5 minutes later with 5 books in tow.

Last week was no different, except that I made Hadyn pick a book out.  Ava picked out – what seemed like 10.  “You are going to have to put some of those books back, Ava.  We cannot possibly read that many books in one weeks time”.  “okay”, she says.  “I will keep all the princess books and leave the others here.”

“fine”, I say – and we leave.

When we got home, she picked out a book to read – and whoa, it was an inspired find on her part.  It was called the Shabbat Princess.  For us, a bit of background is needed to understand the book.  First, we had to learn a bit about Shabbat.

What is Shabbat?

Challah Shabbat (n.) celebrates The Jewish Sabbath.  It is celebrated sundown on Friday to nightfall on Saturday.  It is the day of rest (Shabbat means resting).  God created the world in 6 days and on the seventh – he rested.  Adam and Eve celebrated the first Shabbat in The Garden of Eden.

There are 39 general categories of activities that are forbidden on Shabbat.  Those include cooking and cleaning, work of any kind (plowing Kiddush cup 006 the fields to sewing), or any kind of building.

Typically to celebrate Shabbat, there is a large meal that must be made in advance, due to the fact that cooking is forbidden.

Shabbat begins by the lighting of the candles by the women and girls followed by Friday night evening prayers.  Blessings are said over the Kiddush Cup (or goblet) and a blessing over two whole loves of Challah (I think of it as hallah – you don’t pronounce the C).  Saturday morning brings more prayer and celebratory meals and blessings with the Kiddush Cup and Challah.

At sundown departure services mark the end of the day of rest.

The Shabbat Princess

The book begins with Rosie (the little girl) and her mother preparing for the Shabbat meal.  They were using her best china, silver and cloth napkins.  Rosie asks “Why do we use our special china for Shabbat?”  Her Mother responds, “We are welcoming the Shabbat queen, and a queen deserves only the best.”

Rosie likes queens but she loves princesses.

This is a fabulous book about how Rosie dresses up, and turns herself into a princess for the Shabbat meal.  Her Mother and Father play along by making everything regal.  As Rosie walks down the stairs, her father blows a pretend horn to announce her arrival.  They replace the gold candlesticks with crystal – because only crystal is fitting for a princess.  Rosie’s father shines the Kiddush Cup.  They replace napkins covering the Challah with Ornamental cloth.

Black Kippah The meal is very nice.  Her father wears a kippah (covering ones head which honors God) as he says the prayer.

I love how this book teaches us what a Shabbat meal is and how it’s celebrated.  It brings in important Jewish traditions to light.

The illustrations are colorful, the story is fun, and it’s very educational!

I also love how it ties in so nicely to what we are talking about in our history lesson – The Exodus – leading the Hebrew Slaves to the Promise Land.

Ages:  Girls 3-16 would love this book.  But, I think the story is so interesting and fun, younger boys 3-10 would like the story and get something out of it.

Author:  Amy Meltzer

Illustrator: Martha Aviles

Publication:  2011

Photo Credit For Kippah 

Photo Credit for Kiddush Cup

About Lisa

Hey! Thank you so much for stopping by. I'm Lisa - a homeschool mom of 3 (2 boys and 1 girl). I care about the strength of the family in America, and often blog about babies/kids, natural parenting, homeschool, and marriage. Before you leave, please sign up for my monthly newsletter (on the top right). If you do, you will be well rewarded with notification of all giveaways and sales - which will not be announced on the blog. Google+ Profile


  1. Sounds like a lovely find! Thank you for sharing on our Bloggy Hop. 🙂 We find such lovely treasures at the library – always where we least expect them. Have a wonderful weekend.
    Cool Mom (Christine M.) recently posted…Wordless Wednesday Blog Hop: What is your family reading?My Profile

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