Each year, a new selection of Passover picture books becomes available. I would like to focus on four Passover children’s books that were published during the last couple of years- The Story of Passover, Let My Children Cook, The Longest Night, and Stone Soup With Matzo Balls. All would be excellent additions to your classroom or family’s library.
The Story of Passover. (Holiday House 2014) By David A. Adler and Illustrated by Jill Weber.
If you are looking for a simple retelling of the Exodus from Egypt, The Story of Passover is an excellent choice. Using just a few paragraphs on a page, David Adler is able to skillfully capture the basic elements of the Passover story. Jill’s full-page acrylic paintings tell the story visually. Young children can understand the essence of the story by just looking at the colorful illustrations. After listening to the story, children can easily retell the story by using pictures cues. This book can be used as a classroom read aloud or for home use. The last page provides information about a Passover Seder.
Let My Children Cook!: A Passover Cookbook for Kids. (The Judaica Press, Inc., 2014) By Tamar Ansh and Illustrated by Evigeniy Ognarov.
Let My Children Cook is a kid friendly books that is well organized. It starts out with 2 pages of safety tips. The table of contents is easy to follow. The food categories are in an oversized font that is a different color from the recipes. Each section of the book has its own color coded fonts. The recipes range from simple snacks that require minimal preparation and no cooking to complex foods that requires multiple steps and some experience in the kitchen. The selection is geared toward a youthful audience who would like to spend time in the kitchen during Passover. Although I did not have time to test out any of the recipes, the directions appear to be easy to follow. Many of the foods can be eaten year-round. The book also includes a handful of craft projects.
The Longest Night: A Passover Story. (Random House Children’s Books, 2013) By Laurel Snyder and Illustrated by Catia Chien.
As a child, Laurel Snyder listened each year to the story of the Exodus as she sat at her family’s Seder table. She oftentimes wondered what it would be like to live during that time period. In this artistic and original book, Laurel offers her creative interpretation of living as a Jewish child during the time of Moses. Her rhyming verse provides a steady pace. Full-page acrylic paintings by Catia grace each page. The dark muted illustrations enhance the serious nature of the story. If you are looking for a different approach to Passover, this book is a wonderful option. It could be read together with David Adler’s The Passover Seder. Children could see how the same story could be seen from different points of view.
Stone Soup and Matzoh Balls: A Passover Tale In Helm. (Albert Whitman & Company, 2014) By Linda Glaser and Illustrated by Maryam Tabatabaei.
Storytellers often combine aspects of different stories to create a new version. In Stone Soup and Matzoh Balls, Linda Glaser skillfully mixes together elements of the Wise People of Chelm with the fable of Stone Soup to create a memorable Passover story. Maryam’s illustrations bring the reader back to 19th century Europe. Linda uses narrative and engaging dialogue to keep the reader engaged. Children familiar with the different genres will be able to see how adept authors can piece together a new story from different sources. Parents and teachers will enjoy sharing this Passover tale with their children.
Let me know if you read any of these books. I’d love to hear your feedback.