A beloved storybook character is given a Yiddish twist in this clever and humorous retelling. Realizing that Passover will be here before she knows it, the Little Red Hen sets about preparing to make matzah from start to finish. But who will help her plant, harvest, grind, and schlep the wheat? Not her lazy friends Sheep, Horse, and Dog, who disappoint her at every step (“Friends, schmends…I’ll just do it myself”). Finally Passover arrives and it’s time to make the matzah, which the Little Red Hen accomplishes in the mandated eighteen minutes “according to Jewish law.” She sets her Seder table, prepares the traditional foods, and is just waiting for the sun to set when who should come knocking at the door? Those nogoodniks Sheep, Horse, and Dog, of course. “What chutzpah!” scolds the Little Red Hen, but remembering the edict “Let all who are hungry come and eat,” her menschy self prevails and she invites them in. At least they do the dishes! Pleasing watercolor-and-ink cartoon style illustrations add to the humor (check out the baby chick wearing a yarmulke). Includes a brief explanation of Passover and instructions for making matzah. A perfect holiday title for all Judaica collections. For ages 4 – 8.
Teri Markson has been a children’s librarian for over 18 years. She is currently the acting senior librarian at the Valley Plaza Branch Library in North Hollywood, CA.