Benny and Rose are trying to help Mama by letting her sleep after her long, tiring night helping mothers and babies, when they suddenly hear a mysterious sound. With Shabbat approaching, they are working hard to prepare; but they soon realize that there is a goblin on the loose, which means it’s time for action. If the goblin runs free, Shabbat will be ruined — the kiddush cup overturned, the candles extinguished, and all kinds of other havoc wrought. Trapping the goblin inside the big porridge pot seems to be the best way to contain him. When the children succeed, the goblin begs to be set free, and they watch him run back whence he came. These brave, heroic siblings have saved Shabbat while letting their mother get her much-needed rest.
An author’s note reminds children that they can be braver than they think when an emergency occurs. This simple, sweet, humorous version of an old Jewish folktale features bright, appealing colors and portrays friendly, helpful children with cheerful attitudes and expressive faces.
Michal Hoschander Malen is the editor of Jewish Book Council’s young adult and children’s book reviews. A former librarian, she has lectured on topics relating to literacy, run book clubs, and loves to read aloud to her grandchildren.