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The Shabbat Puppy (Shofar) Hardcover – March 20, 2012

4.1 out of 5 stars 26 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Author Leslie Kimmelman lives in New York, New York.

Illustrator Jaime Zollars lives in Baltimore, Maryland.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 3 - 5 years
  • Lexile Measure: AD620L (What's this?)
  • Series: Shofar
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Two Lions (March 20, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0761461450
  • ISBN-13: 978-0761461456
  • Product Dimensions: 10.3 x 0.4 x 10.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #308,670 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Michael A. Behr VINE VOICE on December 18, 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I selected this book because it was recommended for age 3 and up, but felt that the language was a bit hard for my 3-year old son. My son was interested in the book at first, and liked it enough for a second reading, but then quickly lost interest.

As an adult, I found the story is a bit complex, long, and really not really that interesting. It was pretty repetitive at first, with Noah asking if he could take his dog Mazel with him on their Shabbat walk. Grandpa says no. Noah asks again, Grandpa says no. This happens a few more times until Grandpa says yes. While the three of them are out, Mazel does a mitzvah and saves a baby bird. (The penultimate scene with the rescue was actually a little hard to follow as an adult, and I'm pretty sure that my son didn't grok it.) But after doing that, Grandpa welcomes Mazel's presence on his future walks.

I definitely appreciated author Leslie Kimmelmann's attempt to reach less observant families who might not go to Synagogue for Shabbat, but might do other things that make Saturday "different" than a normal day. Also, weaving the Grandfather into the story was particularly well received by my Dad, a fellow Grandpa.

I found the illustrations nice, but wasn't a huge fan of the style.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
My 3-year old grandkids are not Jewish but I am. I read them the story on a Friday evening. They didn't ask any questions about Shabbat, but liked the story and asked for it again the next night -- read the one about the puppy.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This book was given to me for my review. "Shalom means hello, goodbye and peace," writes the author Leslie Kimmelman in her forward. In the story The Shabbat Puppy, a grandfather and his son leave the house each Shabbat to seek out "Shabbat Shalom", and each time they leave the house, the little boy asks if he can take his puppy. Grandfather tells the child no because the puppy is too noisy and wiggly. It would be disruptive, and they would not be able to find "Shabbat shalom", which seems to mean, in the grandfather's mind, a in the peace and quiet of the day. The little boy, being a child, seeks out evidence of nature everywhere as they walk and finds Shabbat shalom in things like a spider's web, a line of ducks, and a snowfall, and each time asking his grandfather if these are "Shabbat shalom". The grandfather says yes. It seems that to the boy, "Shabbat shalom" is less about quiet, and more about the evidence of God and joy found in nature and daily life, though the story does not exactly state that. However, in Judaism, Shabbat is a focus on God, and therefore is not just about rest and peace but about joy and pleasure, so this would seem to fit.
Finally, one day, the boy convinces his Grandfather that Mazel, the little dog, is mature enough to go with them on their walk. The dog begins to bark, and the reader wonders if the boy is wrong, but the little dog has sighted a baby bird that has fallen from its nest. Grandfather puts the fledgling back into the nest and when the boy asks if that is "Shabbat shalom" the grandfather says yes, and he agrees that Mazel is a good Shabbat pet. In the end, it seems that the Grandfather sees more of what the boy sees about Shabbat shalom, so that the two share the day in both joy and peace.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
"The Shabbat Puppy" is a title that promises a story about a dog that, one would imagine, does interesting things, probably on Shabbat. Unfortunately, the titular puppy is kept out of most of the story by an incorrigibly grumpy grandfather who doesn't want the dog along on his Saturday afternoon walks. So, instead of a puppy, the reader is given an unengaging list of examples of "Shabbat Shalom" -- a butterfly on a sneaker; "Mrs. Duck and her four ducklings"; etc. Finally and inevitably, the dog enters the story -- and gets to do very little.

The illustrations are even worse than the plot. The dog on the cover of the books is far from cute looking. In the opening two-page spread, showing us Noah and Grampa's living room, not one but two computers are switched on despite it being Shabbat, and there is no mezuza or any other Jewish ritual item in sight (save a large, vaguely delineated painting above the couch that appears to depict the Dome of the Rock superimposed on the Manhattan skyline). Later in the book, the sky is dark and a Chanukiah is burning, despite the walk ostensibly still taking place on Saturday morning.

Better illustrations -- by an artist in closer communication with the author, especially on the Jewish issues, and perhaps with a more attractive art style -- could have raised this book to a higher rating, but unfortunately, I am required (via Amazon Vine) to rate the full package.

With so many better options out there, you can give this book a pass.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
"The Shabbat Puppy" tells the story of a boy, Noah, and his grandfather who enjoy taking walks every Saturday morning. Noah asks to take Mazel, his puppy on walks, but his grandfather complains that the puppy will disrupt the serenity of their walks. They eat berries, look at nature's creatures, and enjoy the weather changes, especially the snow. One day, grandpa agrees to let Mazel join the walk and he realizes how much better the walk can be with the dog. After that, Mazel always joins the two on their walk.

The pictures go along with the story so that a non-reader can follow the book. However, I found the pictures too realistic, especially the grandfather's face, and would have enjoyed a more whimsical characterization of the story. Additionally, most of the book talks about reasons why the dog shouldn't join the walk and then the book quickly wraps up with an example about why including a dog on a walk adds to the beauty of Shabbat. The book would have been better with a shorter beginning and a longer ending.

The Shabbat Puppy is from the PJ Library's collection. The PJ Library brings Jewish literature and music to Jewish children and offers free books to many communities. Leslie Kimmelman, the Shabbat Puppy's author, also wrote "The Little Red Hen and the Passover Matzah," which I have heard is also a great book.
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