From bathtime to storytime to cuddling, young children of all sizes, shapes, ethnicities, and abilities get ready for bed with loving parents and caregivers. Poetic text prompts children to connect the sounds of bedtime to the Sh'ma prayer, traditionally said at bedtime to express love, peace, and the Oneness of God.
The Sh'ma is one of the oldest and most foundational prayers of the Jewish religion. It implores us to listen. This gentle introduction for young children helps them sound out the very beginning of the prayer and to begin to glimpse its meaning. By slowing down the first word—shhh, mmm, ahhh—this quiet book helps them hear the sounds of the world around us and within us.
Rabbi Alyson Solomon is the author of Thank You, Modeh Ani. She is passionate about Judaism as a vibrant wisdom tradition and believes that spirituality is about asking questions that matter and then living courageously. Ordained by Hebrew College in Boston, she is a coach, yoga instructor, and change-management consultant. She lives in Eugene, Oregon.
Bryony Clarkson also illustrated Thank You, Modeh Ani. She is a collage artist and illustrator from Oxford, UK. She graduated from the Royal College of Art, London, with a degree in textile design and worked as a print and embroidery designer before turning her focus to illustration. She lives in Oxford, UK.