Soosie: The Horse That Saved Shabbat

Written by Menahem Halberstadt (illus.) Tami Lehman-Wilzig
Review by Elizabeth Caulfield Felt

Long ago in Jerusalem, bakers Esther and Ezra made challah before the sun came up so that everyone would have bread for their Shabbat dinners. The challah was loaded onto a cart pulled by the horse Soosie and driven by the boy Jacob. The two traveled through all the neighborhoods of Jerusalem: Clip-Clop, Clip-Clop. People paid for the bread: Clink-Clang, Clink-Clang. The repetition of words and sounds as the cart moves through the town is lyrical and a great technique for a picture book. The soft colors of the background setting help to highlight the colorful people on the page, especially the boy, the horse, and the cart full of bread. One day, Jacob is too sick to drive the cart. He suggests to Esther and Ezra that the horse knows the route well. Can Soosie the horse do the delivery on her own? The title gives away the answer. A delightful picture book for Jewish and non-Jewish children. The final page has notes about Shabbat and other information relevant to the story.