written by Charlotte Offsay
Shabbat is one of my favorite times of the week. It begins on Friday at sundown and ends when three stars appear in the sky on Saturday night. Shabbat is a time to gather with family and friends, enjoy delicious food, rest and welcome in the new week. It is also a wonderful time to snuggle up with a good book. Here are ten Shabbat-themed picture books. Shabbat Shalom!
10 Books About Shabbat
Challah Day! by Charlotte Offsay, illustrated by Jason Kirschner
Follow along as a family invites the reader into their home to bake challah together and prepare for Shabbat. With upbeat rhyme and fun-filled illustrations, Challah Day! is a joyful read-aloud, sure to leave little mouths watering. Backmatter includes a challah recipe and further reading on the history and cultural importance of Challah.
Sharkbot Shalom by Jenna Waldman, illustrated by Sharon Davey
A robot shark prepares to host his underwater friends for Shabbat dinner. Told in rhyme with a fabulous counting element intertwined, this is a fun read-aloud and a great way to kick off Shabbat or to introduce your kiddos to the holiday. Sharkbot Shalom also serves as a beautiful reminder to us all to slow down and recharge after a busy week.
Soosie: The Horse That Saved Shabbat by Tami Lehman-Wilzig, illustrated by Menahem Halberstadt
Long ago in Jerusalem, a bakery supplies the town with their weekly challah every Friday via Jacob the delivery boy and his horse Soosie. One week Jacob is too sick to make the deliveries, so Soosie comes to the rescue and delivers the challah all on her own. A fun read aloud sure to have little readers rooting for Soosie and asking for repeat reads.
Sadie’s Shabbat Stories by Melissa Stoller, illustrated by Lisa Goldberg
A young girl loves to listen to her Nana’s tales about each heirloom as she helps to set the Shabbat table. This beautiful story comes full circle as Sadie eventually learns to tell Shabbat stories of her own. A heartwarming tale of family highlighting the importance and power of storytelling and remembering.
Chik Chak Shabbat by Mara Rockliff, illustrated by Kyrsten Brooker
Every week the wonderful smell of Goldie Simcha’s homemade cholent wafts through the apartment building before she opens her doors and welcomes her neighbors inside for Shabbat. For Goldie, cholent is the taste of Shabbat. One week, Goldie is sick and can’t cook cholent for everyone. Her neighbors bring her dishes from their own cultures, and when they are all sitting together, Goldie says it tastes just like Shabbat. A heartwarming story of generosity, diversity, culture, and connection.
The Shabbat Princess by Amy Meltzer, illustrated by Martha Graciela Avilés
Rosie loves princesses and asks that her family welcome the Shabbat princess into their home this week. As they prepare, Rosie looks for ways to make this Shabbat a little extra special for their guest. A touching reminder of the joy that comes from slowing down, remembering the true meaning of Shabbat and making a little extra effort.
Bubbie & Rivka’s Best-Ever Challah (So Far!) by Sarah Lynne Reul
Bubbie and Rivka begin baking challah together each week. At first their challah turns out less than ideal, too lumpy one week, burnt the next, but with each passing week they improve. A sweet intergenerational story showing that practice and persistence pays off.
Shabbat Shalom by Vicki L. Weber, illustrated by Shirley Ng-Benitez
Adorable babies and toddlers celebrate Shabbat in this warmly illustrated board book. We see them lighting candles, uncovering the challah, saying the blessings and enjoying one another’s company. A joyful way to introduce Shabbat.
Shh . . . Shh . . . Shabbat by Linda Elovitz Marshall, illustrated by Evgenia Golubeva
The animals in Jerusalem hear lots of noises throughout the week. On Sunday, squirrel hears skateboarders and on Monday, Mouse hears Motorcycles but on Shabbat, the world around slows and quiets as the city welcomes Shabbat. A vibrant board book about Shabbat filled with alliteration making it a lovely read to welcome in Shabbat.
The Shabbat Box by Lesley Simpson, illustrated by Nicole in den Bosch
Every week students take turns bringing the Shabbat Box home from school. When Ira finally gets the box gets lost in a storm on the way home. Ira makes a new box for his class over the weekend and when his teacher reveals that she found the original, the class celebrates at the idea of now having two Shabbat boxes. A sweet read sure to inspire readers to make their own Shabbat boxes!
About Charlotte Offsay
CHARLOTTE OFFSAY was born in England, grew up in Boston, and currently lives in Los Angeles with her husband and two children. Through her work, Charlotte hopes to make children laugh, to inspire curiosity, and to create a magical world her readers can lose themselves in time and time again. Follow her on Instagram.
Charlotte is the author of The Quiet Forest, illustrated by Abi Cushman (Paula Wiseman Books, 2024), Challah Day!, illustrated by Jason Kirschner (Holiday House, 2023), A Grandma’s Magic, illustrated by Asa Gilland (Doubleday Books for Young Readers, April 2022), The Big Beach Cleanup, illustrated by Kate Rewse (Albert Whitman, 2021), and How to Return a Monster, illustrated by Rea Zhai (Beaming Books, 2021).