Lesley Simpson

The Shabbat Box

When itís Iraís turn to take home the Shabbat box he loses the box in a snowstorm. The story is about his creative solution to the crisis, and includes a pragmatic list at the back for kids to make their own boxes.


"Ages 4-6. Simpson doesn't attempt to explain Shabbat to children in this story, nor is there any in-context description of terms such as challah, Havdalah, or kiddush. Even so, this is a satisfying, simple story that has both a winning character who doesn't let a setback get him down, and homey pictures that use bright color to charming effect. Every Friday, a child in Ira's class is allowed to take home the special Shabbat box that contains candles, a challah cover, and a kiddush cup to use to welcome in the Sabbath. Ira waits anxiously for his turn, but with 14 kids in his class, it's many weeks ("98 sleeps," as his mother puts it) before he gets his chance. Finally, the box is his. But on his way home, the unthinkable happens--he accidentally loses it. Ira's distress is clear; it's the solution to his problem that's so appealing. A sweet choice for larger collections, in keeping with the themes of joy and renewal at the heart of the holiday."
--Stephanie Zvirin, Booklist

Selected Works

Picture book
What happens when your wish comes true but everything goes wrong.
Yuvi's pluck helps her survive an extraordinary exodus from Ethiopia to Israel. Winner of the Media Award from Be'Chol Lashon for children's books for Jewish diversity
The Hug is the story of a hug with an identity complex.
"For innocent 6-year-olds, being Jewish is still a hopeful business. Ask Ira, star of The Shabbat Box by Lesley Simpson, illustrated by Nicole in den Bosch."
--Jerusalem Report December 2001
Naomi Levin's world turns upside down in more ways than she can imagine.

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