The Friday Nights of Nana

by Amy Hest

Paperback, 2002





Walker Books (2002), 32 pages


Jennie helps her grandmother prepare for a family Sabbath celebration.

User reviews

LibraryThing member Madams21
This was a book about the special love of a big family. It used language and illustrations of a little girl dancing and skipping to highlight her joy in the moment. All children can identify with this as they all love to dance and move when they are happy. It was also about the special time a little girl spends with her Aunt, helping her to prepare food for the family meal. This book is a cultural book which will help the Hispanic children in the classroom feel represented in the literature.… (more)
LibraryThing member sarabeck
I thought this was a really good book. It may not have been as exciting as some books, but it talks about a very important day and the associated preparations for the Jewish Sabbath. This book is told in first person by a little girl named Jennie. She tells readers about all the preparations she does with her grandmother before her family comes over for the Sabbath. By reading this book, readers can learn about all the different things that are done before the Sabbath. Each time Jennie tells about one of the preparations, it directly reflects an aspect of their religion and/or culture. In each instance, Jennie would ask “Is it time?” and her grandmother would reply, “Not yet.” Finally, her grandmother answered “Now,” indicating the prep work was finished and the celebration could begin. The repetition of the phrase was important because it demonstrated the excitement and angst children so often express. This also aided in the development of the characters because grandparents have so much patience and the grandmother did not tell her to stop asking or anything of the sort. Instead she implied the time would come, even though it is not time yet. The writing flowed consistently throughout the book and matched the sequence of events appropriately. Something that bothered me was how the color blue was clearly something important or related to the Sabbath, but the author did not explain why. Since this book is about the traditions of the Sabbath I think it would have enhanced the story even more if the significance of the color blue were explained. When the whole family arrived at the end, each person was wearing predominantly blue clothing so it was evident that blue represented something. The big idea of this book is traditions and rituals are important aspects of culture/religion, and time with family is cherished.… (more)
LibraryThing member CRoss13
I liked this book, but did not find it to be overly exciting. I was able to relate to it from similar experiences from my childhood, but that was all. Some good attributes that this book had were the descriptive language and the detailed illustrations. The illustrations did a great job at showing and enhancing the text on each page. The language was so descriptive, that illustrations were not even necessary because it created a mental image. An example from the book is "Nana sips her tea and the tea is too hot and she blows in the old china cup, making ripples." I liked this book also because it is a culturally diverse book. It is about the Jewish culture which would be important to include in our future classrooms as teachers due to the variety of students we will have. I could actually relate to this book in another way because of the culture. I nannied a Jewish family for two years, and I noticed many similarities from the book. The book discusses traditional Jewish concepts and ideas such as Challah bread and the Sabbath. The main idea of this book is definitely family and the Jewish culture.… (more)
LibraryThing member estree1
This book has beautiful illustrations and follows the day of a Jewish girl and her Nana as they prepare for Sabbath. The book shows the make up of Jennie's family including her parents, brother, uncles, aunts and cousins.


Original language


Original publication date


Physical description

32 p.; 10.24 x 8.46 inches


074459426X / 9780744594263


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