SOOSIE THE HORSE THAT SAVED SHABBAT
By: Tami Lehman-Wilzig
Illustrated by: Menahem Halberstadt
Published: March 2, 2021
Publisher: Kalaniot Books
In the Jewish faith, Shallat is celebrated at sunset on Friday evening and ends when the three stars can be viewed on Saturday. It is a time to rest and a time to offer blessings.
Long ago, in Jerusalem, early every Friday morning, Ezra and Esther would open their bakery and spend the day making challah bread for all the people of Jerusalem. Once the wagon was full of the bread, Jacob and his faithful horse, Soosie, would then deliver the bread to everyone. One Friday morning, Jacob is ill and can’t make the deliveries. Who could possibly deliver all the bread before sundown?
As Jacob and Soosie deliver challah to the people, there is a repetitive nature to the story that children will quickly pick up. With the use of onomatopoeias like “Clip” and “Clop” younger children will enjoy interacting and reading the story as well. The illustrations show the old Jerusalem and the diverse people who live there. Soosie, the horse, is also full of pride and joy at her accomplishments as shown by her illustrated expressions. There is even an adorable grey kitty that graces the pages.
For those who celebrate Shabbat or for others that like to teach their children about other cultures and religions, this is an excellent folktale based on a story told many years ago in one family’s Jerusalem bakery.
Tami Lehman-Wilzig is an American-Israeli living in Israel. She is an award-winning children’s book author. Her books have been translated into Hebrew, Spanish, and Russian. This is her eleventh book in English.
Menahem Halberstadt is a children’s book illustrator and editorial cartoonist. He has published dozens of picture books for children. Menahem lives in Israel with his wife and sweet children.