Monday, March 29, 2010

Some Passover Tales to Consider

Monday night is the first night of Passover, and Jews around the world will gather together to celebrate and tell the story of the Exodus from Egypt. There are many wonderful books out there for families to read together. Here are a few books you might want to consider (in order from the youngest readers to the oldest).

My First Passover Board Book (My 1st Board Books)
Published by: DK Preschool
Recommended Ages: 4-8

Even though you typically think of board books as books for the youngest readers (2 and 3 year olds), this one is packed with information much more suited for a slightly older child. My First Passover Board Book is a very comprehensive book about Passover, with lots of text and beautiful photos. It includes the story of the Exodus from Egypt, describes the seder and the symbolic significance of the food, explains chametz and even has a song page to practice Ma Nishtana. If you have children in this age range and can only buy one book, this is a good one to start your library.

The Matzah That Papa Brought Home (Passover Titles)

Written by: Fran Manushkin
Illustrated by: Ned Bittinger
Recommended Ages: 4-7

This is a beautifully illustrated book that young and old will appreciate. In rollicking verse (reminiscent of the Had Gadya song), the story of Passover is told while a family is sitting down and sharing the seder. Anyone who has ever participated in a seder with mixed ages will appreciate this lively rendition of the Passover story. Plus the illustrations really are works of art.

Too Many Cooks: A Passover Parable

Written by: Edie Stoltz Zolkower
Illustrated by: Shauna Mooney Kawasaki
Recommended Ages: 4-7

This is a fun book that shows all of the preparation that goes into getting ready for a seder. All of the family is gathered as they prepare for the big meal. It's a lively read, and one that enhances the story of Passover. Perfect for a family that wants to add a Passover book to their growing collection.

Matzah Ball: A Passover Story

Written by: Mindy Avra Portnoy
Illustrated by: Katherine Janus Kahn
Recommended Ages: 4-8

Matzah Ball
tells the story of a boy who is not very pleased when he's told by his mom that he has to bring his kosher-for-Passover lunch to the Major League ball game he's going to with his teammates. He's even less happy when his friends eat all his matzah and then go off to the concession stand. Suddenly an old man appears and tells him the story of his youth when he used to go to Ebbets field during Passover. It's a great story for kids and addresses some of the difficult choices one has to make as a Jew in a very age-appropriate way. The fact that it's also about baseball is an added plus for sports' fans.

Passover Around the World

Written by: Tami Lehman-Wilzig
Illustrated by: Elizabeth Wolf
Recommended Ages: 7-10

This book shows how Jews celebrate Passover in eight different countries: U.S., Gibralter, Ethiopia, Morocco, Turkey, Israel, India and Iran. There is a map of each country, and a brief history telling when and how the Jews settled there. The illustrations are eye-catching and families will enjoy learning the different traditions. A big plus are the recipes from around the world. It would be fun to incorporate one or two new traditions and recipes in your seder each year.


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Lubna said...

Thank you, these books seem very interesting and useful. Jews are a minority here in India, but it is always nice to teach kids about other religious events.