Lot­ty’s Lace Tablecloth

Tami Lehman-Wilzig; Kse­nia Topaz, illus.
  • Review
By – November 14, 2011

Charm­ing illus­tra­tions bring to life a by-gone era, as Nina tells the sto­ry of her family’s Sab­bath lace table­cloth, which has been hand­ed down from gen­er­a­tion to gen­er­a­tion. In Vien­na, Aus­tria, her great-great-great grand­moth­er, Lot­ty Gross, a cel­e­brat­ed lace mak­er, made a beau­ti­ful lace table­cloth to wel­come the Sab­bath Queen to her home on Shab­bat. Nina tells what hap­pened when the Empress Eliz­a­beth saw the exquis­ite table­cloth and insist­ed on buy­ing it to use at her palace recep­tions. Once she found out the tablecloth’s impor­tance to Lot­ty, the Empress proved to have a heart. She sent it to Lot­ty to use it every week­end, and left it to Lot­ty in her will when she died. Now Nina’s grand­moth­er has giv­en Nina’s moth­er the table­cloth, and they have told Nina that some­day it will be giv­en to her. 

First in a new series from Gefen of Jew­ish Heir­loom Sto­ries, this includes space at the end for young read­ers to write in infor­ma­tion about Shab­bat heir­looms they have at their own homes, and to paste in pho­tos of them. They will be encour­aged to find out about such heir­looms as can­dle­sticks or Kid­dush cups from their par­ents and grand­par­ents, and will learn their family’s his­to­ry in this way. Lehman-Wilzig, the Israeli author of Tasty Bible Sto­ries and Keep­ing the Promise, empha­sizes in a gen­tle, non-preachy way the impor­tance of hon­or­ing the Sab­bath, as well as the impor­tance of appre­ci­at­ing and retain­ing fam­i­ly his­to­ry. This is a love­ly addi­tion to Shab­bat sto­ries for Jew­ish libraries, and would make a nice gift for chil­dren and grand­chil­dren. Ages 6 – 10.

Anne Dublin is the teacher-librar­i­an at Holy Blos­som Tem­ple in Toron­to, Cana­da and an award-win­ning author of books for chil­dren and young adults. Her lat­est book is June Call­wood: A Life of Action (Sec­ond Sto­ry Press, 2006).

Discussion Questions