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The Bedtime Sh'ma Hardcover – May 1, 2007


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Editorial Reviews

Review

The beautiful artwork and simple language of this unique book for very young Jewish children provides families with a satisfying bedtime ritual with which to end the day. Sarah Gershman has adapted the collection of psalms, poems and prayers of the Kriat Sh'ma al HaMitah, into child-friendly verses that focus on themes of protection and preparing for sleep. The accompanying serene and lovely artwork by Kristina Swarner, in hues of deep purples and blues, along with the flowing typeface design, make this a truly beautiful adaptation of the Bedtime Sh'ma, invoking traditional traditional nighttime blessings of peace and protection and recalling the wonder of our waking hours. --Jewish Book World: Spring 2008

Reading picture books to a child is a beloved bedtime activity, a comforting and reassuring interlude before the lights go out and the darkness descends... The Bedtime Sh'ma: A Good Night Book, adapted by educator Sarah Gershman from the liturgy, is a beautiful and sensitive interpretation of excerpts from the traditional Jewish prayers and psalms that focus on the theme of protection and preparing for sleep. Kristina Swarner provides enchanting, dreamlike illustrations. A companion CD featuring musical selections from the Bedtime Sh'ma is also available. --Jewish Woman Magazine, Winter 2008

A quality of reverence and wonder imbues this bedtime story. Borrowing from and paraphrasing the words of the Shema prayer, the story evokes a world where children are under the loving protection of their parents and God. The softly-colored illustrations reflect this comforting message, offering calm and reassurance to the child going to bed. Four pages of text where the Shema is written in both English and Hebrew are designed to sweep across the pages in a graceful curve. An audio recording (CD) is included, featuring vocals of going-to-bed prayers in Hebrew and English with guitar accompaniment. --Linda R. Silver, Best Jewish Books for Children and Teens
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 40 pages
  • Publisher: EKS Publishing (May 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0939144557
  • ISBN-13: 978-0939144556
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 9.1 x 0.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #759,360 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
5 star
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See all 29 customer reviews
This is my 7 year old grandson's favourite bedtime book!
Neshama B.
The writing in the book makes it easy for little children to understand and to grow with and the artwork highlights the prayer.
jean rose
My son requested this book as a keepsake for his newborn.
SeattleReign

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Jewish Book World Magazine on June 18, 2008
Format: Paperback
The beautiful artwork and simple language of this unique book for very young Jewish children provides families with a satisfying bedtime ritual with which to end the day. Sarah Gershman has adapted the collection of psalms, poems and prayers of the Kriat Sh'ma al HaMitah, into child-friendly verses that focus on themes of protection and preparing for sleep. Short prayers of a few sentences are written in large print with lots of appealing white space and accompanied by a peaceful bedtime scene. For example, these few words are spread over three pages:

"My child, may you lay down gently to sleep. And may God's peace spread over you. May God who watched over those who were here long ago, watch over you. May God bless you and keep you safe. May God give you light when it is dark. May God help you grow and be happy."

The accompanying serene and lovely artwork by Kristina Swarner, in hues of deep purples and blues, along with the flowing typeface design, make this a truly beautiful adaptation of the nighttime Sh'ma, invoking traditional nighttime blessings of peace and protection and helping to create a lovely new family ritual at bedtime. The author has included the adult version of the Kriat Sh'ma al HaMitah in both English and Hebrew at the end of the book. This engaging book won the 2008 Sydney Taylor Book Award for Younger Readers from the Association of Jewish Libraries. Ages 4 - 8. Reviewed by Lisa Silverman
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Marsha on September 8, 2007
Format: Paperback
The accompanying Bedtime Sh'ma CD, sung so simply and intimately by Rabbi Julia Andelman, is lovely and perfect not just for children but also for adults. The book and CD are wonderful together, each magnifying the charm of the other.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By DaKs on October 12, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Overall its a cute book, I don't think I would have bought it had I actually gotten to see the whole book. I actually found a couple of the pictures creepy, like the ghostly heads floating in the window. I skip the pages I find creepy. My toddler loves the page with the giraffe and pointing at all the stuff.

G-d's name is spelled out 1-the name "Ad-n-" in English and 2-Elokiem in Hebrew = bottom line you have to treat this book with respect as a prayerbook and not put other books on top of it, not let it fall on the floor, etc. Also the page after the "shema" the phrase B"h S"m k'vo malchuto l'olam va'ed should be said in a whisper. Wrote some text but left out the "how to" of the tradition.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Proud mom on July 5, 2007
Format: Paperback
This creative book is a sweet way to end the day with a thoughful and meaningful message to my 3 year old daughter before she goes off to sleep. How wonderful!!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By yael ashtari on March 12, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
i was almost brought to tears and immediately pulled out of my daily stresses when i was reading this to my 10 mo. daughter. some of the wording and the delicate illustrations are definitely endearing. "i am not alone" was one of lines referring to sleep. just a lovely book that reminds me of the beauty of my religion and making the routine sacred. i did also purchase the audio CD and was fearful it would be too free & easy but it is also a thoroughly respectful work with great soul.
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19 of 25 people found the following review helpful By J. Kelley VINE VOICE on July 17, 2010
Format: Paperback
My son loves this book. The illustrations are just wonderful.

However... (secular & non-jews can stop reading now)

There are several halachic problems with this book and cd. If you are an adult male, the cd is kol isha.

G-d's name is spelled out (albeit in English, which many don't/won't have in their homes). Although you could consider the representation of a hamsa as an 'actual' hand of G-d.... I'm uncomfortable with that illustration. B"h S"m k'vo malchuto l'olam va'ed is mistranslated, badly, imo. The service is set out at the end of the book, so you either pass it on to someone else or take it to a genisha.

So I'm torn. I admit that I read this book to my son prior to having really reviewed it (given as a gift). Now, of course, until I can get him away from it, I'm pretty stuck.

Stick to the Artscroll/Feldheim/HaChai publications for the little ones. KarBen seems uneven in its publications. (The Ziz stories are very well done.)
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By PhillyReaderHere on June 4, 2008
Format: Paperback
Beautifully written and illustrated, a wonderful baby gift or gift for a young child. The CD is wonderful too. My son asks me to read the book over and over.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Dorothy Dorsau on June 24, 2008
Format: Paperback
A lovely way to help a child go to sleep and to help a Jewish child learn a most important prayer.
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