Review: Lilah Tov Good Night by Ben Gundersheimer

Lilah Tov Good Night by Ben Gundersheimer

Lilah Tov Good Night by Ben Gundersheimer, illustrated by Noar Lee Naggan (9781524740665)

After a long day on their farm, the small family eats dinner together and then pack their belongings. The moon rises as they say goodbye to the hens and chicks they are leaving behind. The family stops to take shelter in a cave on their journey, wishing the bats that fly around them lilah tov, good night. They say good night to the beach as they climb aboard a small boat. Lilah Tov to the stars and the clouds. Good night to the mountains they walk into and to all the animals along the way, until they arrive at their new home. 

Gundersheimer based this picture book on a Hebrew lullaby and weaves in a story of a refugee family leaving their home and heading to a new one. The book is quiet and full of grace, just right for a bedtime story. It weaves together saying goodnight all along the way, embracing the silence of the night. 

Naggan’s illustrations are filled with hope. The little girl experiences the entire journey as one of wonder and excitement. The worry on the adult faces though creates somber moments throughout. The illustrations capture that this is a Jewish family as they carry their menorah with them. The pages are illuminated by the light of the moon and the stars.

A graceful and powerful lullaby entwined with the story of a refugee family. Appropriate for ages 2-4.

Reviewed from e-galley provided by Nancy Paulsen Books.

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