As we approach Passover, teach your patrons about this holiday celebrating hope and freedom.
Here are a few of my favorite sites and books for young patrons.
The Matzah Man: A Passover Story, by Naomi Howland
In this lively adaptation of "The Gingerbread Boy," a bold little man made of matzah jumps out of the baker"s oven and leads him and everyone in the neighborhood—all of whom are preparing for Passover—on a merry chase. With colossal chutzpah, the Matzah Man taunts Cousin Tillie as she is cooking brisket, Auntie Bertha trying on her new spring shoes, and Grandpapa Solly making gefilte fish. He at last arrives on the doorstep of clever Mendel Fox, who offers him a hiding place under the Passover matzah cover—and when the seder meal begins, that's the end of the Matzah Man! As she did in Latkes, Latkes, Good to Eat, Naomi Howland has created a humorous tale, charmingly illustrated, that overflows with holiday festivity.
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.
Exodus, by Brian Wildsmith
From School Library Journal
Kindergarten-Grade 4. Wildsmith recounts Moses's saga from his rescue in the bulrushes by Pharaoh's daughter to his death on Mt. Nebo overlooking the Promised Land. The writing is straightforward and simple; the story is brief but accurate. The artwork is a visual feast. The double-page illustrations, framed in gold, are panoramas of activity, crowded with the figures of the Hebrew multitudes suffering in slavery, streaming out of Egypt, traversing the Red Sea between walls of water, wandering in the brown hills of the desert, and at last, triumphantly entering the verdant Canaan. Filled with meticulous and decorative detail, glowing with rich colors, and arranged to maximize dramatic impact, the paintings show the awesome events with excitement and beauty. The pillars of cloud and fire are shaped like huge pointing fingers. Animals, birds, and sea life abound. God's presence is shown by a multicolored, starry shape superimposed on a sphere. The endpapers present the Ten Commandments printed on monumental, gold-decorated arks against a background of intense violet and rose. Even if your library has Leonard Everett Fisher's excellent Moses (1995) or Miriam Chaikin's Exodus (1987, both Holiday), powerfully illustrated by Charles Mikolaycak, this book should be included.
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