Grover and Big Bird’s Passover Celebration

Til­da Bal­s­ley and Ellen Fis­ch­er; Tom Leigh, illus.
  • Review
By – March 11, 2013

Shalom Sesame is a series for Eng­lish-speak­ing chil­dren, which teach­es about and pro­motes famil­iar­i­ty with Israeli soci­ety. One char­ac­ter, Moishe Oofnik, is the Israeli ver­sion of Oscar the Grouch. He is joined by Sesame reg­u­lars Grover and Big Bird in this book, which teach­es about Passover. Grover begins by intro­duc­ing the hol­i­day and then he and his friends set off on an adven­ture as they head to their friends’ home for a seder. On the way, Grover gets stuck in a bush and Big Bird helps free him lead­ing to a talk about free­dom, and a reminder that the Jews were freed from slav­ery in Egypt. They help an elder­ly woman with her Passover gro­ceries and dis­cuss each of the spe­cial foods used at the seder. Sim­ple Hebrew words such as bok­er tov, shalom, and todah rabah are explained in con­text of the story.

It is always excit­ing for chil­dren to see vibrant col­ored illus­tra­tions and famil­iar Sesame Street char­ac­ters. There are won­der­ful draw­ing of the Jews as slaves in Egypt and of them leav­ing Egypt with all their possessions.

Back­ground mate­r­i­al about the hol­i­day is sum­ma­rized in a para­graph at the end. Recom­mended for ages 2 – 6.

Marge Kaplan is a retired Eng­lish as a Sec­ond Lan­guage teacher. She is a con­sul­tant for the children’s lit­er­a­ture group for the Roseville, MN school sys­tem and is a sto­ry­teller of Jew­ish tales.

Discussion Questions