Night Lights: A Sukkot Story

by Laura Elizabeth Sucher (Illustrator) Barbara Diamond Goldin

Hardcover, 2002



Local notes

394.267 Gol





URJ Press, (2002), 32 pages. $14.95.


A young boy learns about the meaning of Sukkot while overcoming his fear of the dark. Includes information on the history and customs of Sukkot.


Sydney Taylor Book Award (Mass Import -- Pending Differentiation)

Original language


Physical description

32 p.; 10.1 inches

User reviews

LibraryThing member break
Barbara Diamond Goldin's Night Lights: A Sukkot Story would be much less fearsome without Louse August's oil and pastel paintings. But as the story mostly revolves around Daniel, a young boy trying to overcome his fear of the dark, it looks pretty stark. Daniel challenges himself and his sister to
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sleep this time without fear in the Sukkah, unlike last year, when only grandpa's signing could help them to fall asleep. After not being able to convince his father to put real roof on their Sukkah and after having a nice warm family meal out there comes the night. These pages are filled with black ages and monstrous dogs and bear (with the text in white to provide enough contrast for legibility.) Eventually they fall asleep and all is well, and our protagonists grew a little again through their experiences. The last page has an explanation about the meaning and history of the Sukkah. The book was written for children age four and above.
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LibraryThing member AbigailAdams26
Night Lights: A Sukkot Story, illustrated by Louise August.

Daniel is frightened by the idea of sleeping out in his family's sukkah - a temporary booth built by Jews each year to celebrate the harvest festival of Sukkot - without the reassuring presence of his grandfather in this lovely holiday
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picture-book. His older sister Naomi, with whom he is sleeping out, is at first less than helpful, even mocking his fear. But when she gets frightened as well, she becomes more sympathetic, pointing out the night lights - the stars and moon - that their ancestors must have watched as they too camped out under the skies, in their flight out of Egypt...

Originally published in 1995 with artwork from Louise August, then in 2002 with illustrations from Laura Sucher, and finally in 2020 with artwork from Amberin Huq, Night Lights: A Sukkot Story is the second seasonal picture-book I have read from author Barbara Diamond Goldin, following upon her Cakes and Miracles: A Purim Tale (also illustrated by different artists, over the years). The story here is engaging, and ultimately heartwarming, as the two children grow closer together, while also growing closer to their ancestors, and their ancestors' struggles. That said, what really lifted the reading experience to the next level for me were the illustrations of August, created using linocuts, oil and pastel, all on rice paper. They are lovely, alternating between cute and fearsome, and having a stained-glass feeling at times that I found very appealing. Recommended to picture-book readers seeking Sukkot stories.
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½ (5 ratings; 3.7)
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