Review: The Shabbat Princess

The Shabbat Princess by Amy Meltzer

Illustrated by Martha Aviles

Anybody out there have a little girl who is fascinated with princesses? Well, Amy Meltzer brilliantly plays on that common obsession, and uses it to create a story about hiddur mitzvah—which is hard to translate, but basically means ‘beautifying a mitzvah’.


The Shabbat Princess tells the story of Rosie, who wishes to welcome the Sabbath Queen in an appropriately regal fashion. She becomes the Sabbath princess, and travels around her home collecting Shabbat objects, and polishing or enhancing them in some way to make them perfect for the visiting royalty. It’s a great lesson on and how one can utilize ‘fanciness’ to highlight things of value, like the wonderful mitzvot of Kiddush, candlelighting and songs.


The illustrations are vibrant; the colors seem to leap off the page, and the characters are drawn sweetly. My one minor crit would be that Rosie’s tiara to me looks like a twisted pretzel—I would have preferred to see something a bit more shiny and bejeweled.


The Sabbath Princess is wonderful addition to any young girls library, and a wonderful counterpoint to all those other princesses out there. I highly recommend!


4 of 5 stars.

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