A Sweet Passover

Lesléa New­man; David Slonim, illus.

  • Review
By – August 7, 2012

This is a charm­ing pic­ture book whose sto­ry is filled with age-appro­pri­ate humor about lit­tle Miri­am, who loves every­thing about spend­ing Passover with her extend­ed fam­i­ly except for one thing — too much matzah. For sev­en days she hap­pi­ly eats matzah with all kinds of top­pings and addi­tions but on the last day she wakes up total­ly tired of matzah and promis­es nev­er to eat it again, or indeed even to get out of bed to join her fam­i­ly for break­fast. Her grand­fa­ther humors her with matzah brei while her fam­i­ly simul­ta­ne­ous­ly explains why eat­ing the plainest food — matzah — in free­dom is sweet­er than the fan­ci­est food eat­en in slav­ery. Col­or­ful pic­tures by the award-win­ning illus­tra­tor are whim­si­cal and add much to the story.

A recipe for matzah brei fol­lows, as does an Author’s Note on the his­to­ry of Passover and on fam­i­ly cus­toms and rit­u­als of the hol­i­day. An appen­dix fol­lows with a Glos­sary of the Hebrew and Yid­dish words used in the book. Rec­om­mend­ed as a read-aloud for ages four to seven.

Shelly Feit has an M.L.S. and a Sixth-year Spe­cial­ist’s Cer­tifi­cate in infor­ma­tion sci­ence. She is the library direc­tor and media spe­cial­ist at the Mori­ah School in Engle­wood, NJ.

Discussion Questions