Passover Books

(Page 2)

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On Passover
On Passover

By Cathy Goldberg Fishman
More attractive and lyrical than many other Passover books, this is told by a young girl who asks questions as her family gets ready for the Jewish holiday. She is shown that this is a holiday that incorporates all the senses. The girl's eyes see the seder plate; her nose smells the soup and other foods being prepared for Passover dinner; and, of course, she steals tastes of the bounty. There are also things to feel, like the silk matzah cover, and things to hear, like the Passover...

Description by Booklist


"Dy-dy-enu, dy-dy-enu" my father sings in Hebrew. "It would be enough."
A young girl hears her father singing these words and knows it is time to get ready for Passover. Time to eat special food on special Passover dishes. Time to tell the Passover story and take part in the Seder. During the celebration of Passover, there are many things to see, taste, smell, hear, and feel. And as the girl follows her senses and asks questions about all she encounters, she discovers in her own heart what Passover really means.

Description from Publisher


As a young girl prepares for Passover with her family, she uses all her senses to experience this important Jewish holiday. Everyone in her family answers her questions (which are an integral part of Passover) and playfully encourages her to understand more deeply what they are celebrating. Her father tells her that it is important for Jewish people to celebrate Passover every year so that they can always remember what it was like when people were slaves in Egypt, and so they can pray for all the people in the world who don't have freedom. The girl learns that Passover has things to see (feathers, candles, and spoons), smell (gefilte fish and chicken soup), taste (matzah bread), hear (songs and blessings), and feel (the softness of the silk matzah cover). Passover is a time to ask questions. But most of all, she says, Passover is "a wonderful feeling in my heart, dyenu." (Hebrew for "it would be enough.")

Cathy Goldberg Fishman's gentle, lilting child's-eye-view of Passover is a quiet extravaganza of the senses. Melanie W. Hall's wonderfully Chagall-like collagraph and mixed-media illustrations create a mystical backdrop that evokes history and tradition as it commemorates ancient symbolic ritual. This is one of four in a series by the author/illustrator team, including On Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, On Hanukkah, and- On Purim.

Description from Amazon.com


A young girl describes what she sees, hears, and smells as her family prepares for and celebrates Passover. In keeping with the themes of the holiday, the narrator asks her family members questions about Passover and their answers effectively convey the joy of the holiday. Soft illustrations further demonstrate the warmth associated with the holiday. An excellent choice for preschoolers who are beginning to understand the nuances of the Passover holiday.

Lori's Description

The Mouse in the Matzah Factory

By Francine Medoff
Journey with a curious little mouse as he travels from a wheat field in the country to a big city factory where harvested wheat is baked into matzah. Along the way, discover just how important his role as watcher is in this very special process.

Description from Publisher


When a mouse decides to tag along with some wheat being harvested, he gets a trip into the city and a firsthand view of the transformation of the wheat into matzah. Children will love the bright illustrations and the mouse narrator will further engage them into the story of how their matzah was created.

Lori's Description

Rachel's Gift

By Richard Ungar
As Passover approaches, Rachel's mother plans to make the best soup in the world to woo Elijah the Prophet and reap a rich reward. Using Bubbie's secret and not very helpful recipe, she begins to cook, and the aroma attracts many visitors with helpful hints of their own. In the end, it is Rachel's gift of kindness to an old man that brings a reward that is more than money. Although this tale lacks the outright silliness of many of the Chelm stories, the "lesson" is accompanied by lively action and smooth prose. The rich watercolor and colored-pencil illustrations in the style of folk art capture the European village setting, and the reds, yellows, and oranges add to the warmth of the tale. A welcome addition to Jewish folklore shelves.

Description from School Library Journal


The author of Rachel Captures the Moon returns to Chelm with this story which combines The Magician with Stone Soup. It is Passover time, and Rachel's mother desperately wants Elijah the Prophet to visit and bestow good fortune on them. She receives a recipe from Bubbie from Bialystock and immediately concludes that she has found her lure. Unfortunately, the recipe is so vague that she must improvise based on what she has in the house. Various members of the community come in and each adds something to the soup to make it even more delicious. After Rachel shows kindness towards a poor visitor, everyone notices that some of the wine in Elijah's cup has disappeared. Rachel's act of generosity was able to teach the adults an important lesson. Ungar's rich Chagall-like watercolors bring a dreamlike quality to the story that will draw children into the story. An excellent addition to a folklore or Passover holiday collection.

Lori's Description

The Seder Activity Book

By Judy Dick
Here are 4 questions that occur at many a Passover seder table- Is it dinner yet?, What does this mean to me?, Why canít this be more fun?, and (again) Is it dinner yet?? Our new Seder Activity Book attempts to give an answer to these questions. With quiet games and activities that actively involve children in the Passover Seder, children will enjoy using their Seder Activity Book at their seats as they follow along with the leader. As they flip through the pages of the book they will learn all about the order of the Seder and the rituals associated with it.. They will delight in activities such as decorating a Seder invitation, completing dot-to-dots, and discovering why and how we celebrate Passover. Donít be surprised if this book doesnít just stay at the "kidís" table! Teachers can also make learning fun in the classroom by using this book to teach about Passover.

Description from Publisher


This book is the perfect answer to a child who is always restless during the Seder. Featuring puzzles, coloring pages, and fill-in-the-blanks, this activity book is a way to teach your child about the meaning of the Seder without being preachy. This is also a useful resource for Jewish educators as a classroom exercise.

Lori's Description

All About Passover

By Judyth Saypol Groner
The history and customs of Passover in language young children can understand. Includes the story of the Exodus, all about chametz and matzah, the tradition of tzedakah at Passover, and an introduction to the seder. With favorite recipes. Lavishly illustrated.

Description from Publisher


This picture book is an excellent Passover reference book for elementary aged children. Groner retells the story of Exodus and then tells how Passover is celebrated. In particular, she explains the meaning behind most of the Passover customs. Several Kosher for Passover recipes are also included.

Lori's Description

A Tree Trunk Seder

(Board Book)

By Camille Kress
How is this book different than all other books?

Fourth in her series of holiday board books, this time Camille Kress invites us to a woodland Passover seder. In A Tree Trunk Seder, toddlers and parents will meet an adorable squirrel family and join them as they celebrate with matzah, a Haggadah, a seder, laughter, and song! The warm watercolor illustrations bring to life Passover traditions that take place in the Jewish home.


Camile Kress (Tot Shabbat, Purim!, Let There Be Lights!, The High Holy Days) brings another board book to her beautiful collection. Soft watercolor illustrations effectively work with a very short text. A family of squirrels is shown going through the different parts of the Seder. Children will adore the animals and will relate to the warmth shown for their family celebration. A good choice for reading aloud with toddlers.

Lori's Description

Only Nine Chairs:
A Tall Tale for Passover

By Deborah Uchill Miller
Speculates in rhyme how to handle nineteen guests at a Seder dinner when there are only nine chairs.

    A seder for 19
    With seating for nine.
    Will some have to stand
    While others recline?


Description from Publisher


Having 19 people over for a Seder when there are only 9 chairs can present a problem. This charming picture book features Seuss-like rhymes (as well as a Seuss-like resolution). Children will ask that this story be read over and over. A superb choice for preschoolers and early elementary children.

Lori's Description

Matzah Ball :
A Passover Story

By Mindy Avra Portnoy
Blending baseball and Passover facts, this contemporary, fast-paced story demonstrates that "It's not always easy being Jewish, but sometimes it can lead to miracles." Aaron's happiness at going with his friends to see the Baltimore Orioles is tempered by his mother's reminder that it is Passover and that he can't eat pretzels, crackerjacks, or ice cream. His non-Jewish friends eagerly devour his special lunch, which he refuses to eat. Aaron dislikes being different, especially when the others make one last trip to the concession stands. Surprised when an elderly man (could it be Elijah?) sits down beside him, Aaron listens to the man's memories of Jewish baseball fans going to games at Ebbets Field and receives a special piece of matzah that miraculously helps him catch a home-run ball hit into the bleachers. Bold, detailed watercolors perfectly complement the text's realistic language and emotions. This will be a hit with sports lovers and anyone seeking an added dimension to a holiday story

Description from School Library Journal

This picture book finds a unique blend between modern Judaism, the prophet Elijah, and baseball. Aaron is excited to join his friends at an Orioles baseball game. Unfortunately for Aaron, the game falls during Passover, so is quite disappointed at the prospect of missing out on the hot pretzels, ice cream, and Cracker Jacks. When he arrives at the ballpark, his friends eagerly sample Aaron's Passover treats. While the game is exciting, Aaron gets hungrier and hungrier. Finally, towards the end of the game, when Aaron's friends go to the concession stands to get more snacks, Aaron receives his own Passover miracle. Children will relate to Aaron's conflict at being both an assimilated American and a Jew during Passover. Sports fans will find the references to actual baseball sports heroes an authentic addition to the story. An excellent choice for elementary school readers.

Lori's Description

Matzah Ball Soup

By Joan Rothenberg
This warm, funny picture book combines a seder celebration with one extended family's special tradition. Grandma explains to Rosie why they each have to have four matzah balls in their chicken soup. Her story goes back to when Grandma's Tanta Tee came as a new immigrant from Hungary to join her three sisters in America. Each sister had her own way of making matzah balls, and, after quarreling and kvetching, they had a contest to see whose were the best. That long-ago holiday celebration, Tanta Tee's first seder in America, connects with the family seder that Rosie and her grandma are attending now, as they go through the four questions, read from the Haggadah, and enjoy the meal. Children will appreciate the comic pictures of the affectionate family dynamics. Of course, there's a recipe at the back--with a variation from each of the four aunts.

Description from Booklist

Matzo Ball Moon

By Leslea Newman
As she does every year, Bubbe, Eleanor's grandmother, comes to celebrate Passover with young Eleanor and her family. And as usual, Bubbe and Eleanor make matzo balls together. Hot out of the pot, the matzo balls smell so inviting that each family member eats one immediately, then sneaks another. When it's time to serve the matzo ball soup at dinner, there aren't enough matzo balls to go around. All eagerly offer to share, but Bubbe insists on doing without a matzo ball for her soup. Later, as Eleanor opens the door to welcome the prophet Elijah to the seder, she spies the full moon and declares it to be Bubbe's own "big, lumpy, yummy-looking matzo ball." A brief identification of Passover foods and traditions concludes a warm story of intergenerational sharing of holiday preparations within a loving family.

from Booklist


Eleanor and her family look forward to her Bubbe's delicious matzo ball soup. But when everyone in the family sneaks a taste of Bubbe's yummiest, lumpiest matzo balls, there aren't enough for everyone. That is until Eleanor comes up with the perfect solution. Leslea Newman's story accurately portrays the anticipation of a grandparent's visit and the joy of helping a grandmother cook a holiday meal. Elaine Greenstein's pencil drawn illustrations help convey a loving family. A brief description of the Passover seder is included.

Lori's Description

Four Special Questions: A Passover Story

By Jonny Zucker
A mother, father, and three young children in a typical Jewish family celebrate their most important holidays in the attractively illustrated Festival Time books, which speak not only to Jewish children but to boys and girls of all faiths. This simple and delightful introduction to the Jewish holiday of Passover describes a family as they celebrate their festival of freedom. They prepare the six different types of food on the Seder plate, ask the four traditional questions, and hunt for the Afikoman.

Description from Publisher

The Passover Seder

By Emily Sper
From the innovative creator of Hanukkah: A Counting Book in English, Hebrew, and Yiddish comes The Passover Seder. There's no other book like this in the marketplace! Along with a simple retelling of the Passover story, this novelty book takes readers through a hands-on seder experience. Open a Hagaddah; turn a seder plate to match symbolic foods; lift the napkin and "break" the middle matzah; touch matzah, parsley and a pillow; pour drops of wine to symbolize the ten plagues; help the Jews cross the Red Sea; search for the hidden afikomen; and open the door to welcome Elijah the Prophet.

Description from Publisher

Passover

By Roni Schotter
Join little Moe and his family as they celebrate Passover. They clean the house, prepare the Seder dinner, hunt for the hidden matzoh, and read the story of Passover together. National Jewish Book award winning author Roni Schotter's sweet, simple text is paired with Erin Eitter Kono's warm and inviting illustrations, making this Passover celebration one to cherish.

Description from Publisher


This charming picture book shows a family celebrating Passover. Roni Schotter effectively demonstates the warmth of a family celebrating together. She uses a rhyming scheme that will make for engaging reading aloud. Erin Eitter Kono's cartoonish illustations are sure to keep children further engrossed in the story.

Lori's Description

Let's Get Ready for Passover

By Lloyd G. Douglas
This Is Our Seder
This Is Our Seder

By Ziporah Hildebrandt
The text for this inviting volume couldn't be simpler, as Hildebrandt deftly pares down the Passover celebration to its most basic concepts. "This is our night for coming together," she begins, then, retaining the same sentence construction, she introduces "the plate for teaching," the "pillows for leaning," the haggadah ("the story for telling"), etc. It's Roraback's unusually spirited illustrations that serve up the storytelling. She pairs close-ups of specific items (e.g., the seder plate) with full-page views of a large, plain-looking family, everyone from grandparents to a baby, all seated at the holiday table, and she keeps the visual rhythm lively by "panning" the table in her different scenes. The characters are determinedly plain--the beauty here is in the details. Of the "pillows for leaning," for example, one is decorated with an infant Moses among the bulrushes, a couple of fish smiling up at him; when the "story for telling" is introduced, Roraback shows the children putting on a Passover puppet show for their elders. The compositions are calm but busy, with plenty of background action: a dog campaigning for handouts, a girl kicking off her party shoes as the evening wears on.

description from Publishers Weekly
The Matzah Ball Fairy
The Matzah Ball Fairy

By Carla Heymsfeld
When Frieda Pinsky uses some magic powder to help make the matzah balls for her Passover seder light and fluffy, it works too well.

from Book Annotation


This is a funny, light hearted book about a family getting together for Passover. The mother trying to make light fluffy matzoh balls always reminds me of making matzoh balls with my mother - waiting and hoping they would float. The illustrations are great and the fun and funniness of family get togethers are events anyone can relate to and laugh at. By far it is my favorite Jewish children's book.

from Amazon.com customer review

Pesach 1-2-3
A picture book all about the story and customs of Pesach. It counts from 1-10, with full-color illustrations.

Desciption from Publisher

Toby Belfer's Seder :
A Passover Story Retold
The Belfer's are the only Jewish family in their local Louisiana town. Toby Belfer's best friend Donna is curious about the Passover holiday that her Jewish friend celebrates. So the Belfers invite Donna and her family to their Passover seder. Toby Belfer's Seder is an introduction to the Passover holiday for children (and adults) who want to know more about this unique Jewish celebration. Includes a glossary of Hebrew terms used in the story, a brief bibliography and an abridged version of the traditional Passover song "Dayenu".

Description from Children's Literature

Also in the Toby Belfer Series:

The Ultimate Sticker Book : Passover

By Melanie Halton
overing all aspects of the Jewish festival of Passover, from the story of the exodus from Egypt to Passover preparations in the modern home, the Ultimate Passover Sticker Book is the perfect way to celebrate the history and traditions of Passover.

Desciption from Publisher

Abuelita's Secret Matzahs

By Sandy Eisenberg Sasso
Abuelita's Secret Matzahs tells the fascinating but little-known story of the Cryptojews, Jews forced to convert to Christianity during the Spanish Inquisition who secretly maintained their Jewish faith and customs throughout the ages ó often revealing the secret to only one person per generation.

Jacobo loves to visit his grandmother, "Abuelita," who lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico, in an adobe house hidden by juniper and pinon trees. When Jacobo befriends David, a Jewish child, he starts to notice that David's family observes many of the same traditions as Jacobo's grandmother: they avoid pork, they light two candles on Friday nights, and they eat unleavened bread during Passover. When Jacobo asks Abuelita about this discovery, she offers him the chance to be the keeper of traditions for his generation - and Jacobo realizes that he will one day have to make a choice between the Christian beliefs he has been raised with and the Judaism of his ancestors.

Like life, Abuelita's Secret Matzahs offers no easy answers about what Jacobo's choice will be; parents and children will find here an opportunity to discuss their own family traditions and history.

Desciption from Publisher

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