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A Tale of Two Seders

A Tale of Two Seders

by Mindy Avra Portnoy, Valeria Cis (Illustrator)

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Sara Rofofsky Marcus
The title of this book can be quite misleading, as the story is one of divorce, told through the eyes of a young girl attending Passover seders with each parent in different homes over the three years since her parents divorced. Each year the dynamics at each seder changes until the final seder in the book attended is the one held by the synagogue, where both her parents attend to be together yet separate in their own lives. Four recipes for charoset, a traditional food at the seder, are included. The book does provide an introduction to the holiday of Passover but better serves to address divorce and remarriage. The Judaic concept is not Orthodox, yet traditions and rituals are generally portrayed accurately. An additional concept covered in this book is that of missing an elderly family member who is in the hospital during one seder. A glossary at the end defines both Hebrew words and other unfamiliar terms. There are many other books available that discuss the holiday of Passover, and many other books that address the issue of divorce. Except for the holiday of Passover there is no Jewish view given about divorce, so this work serves really only to assist the child of divorced parents who will be facing seders at two houses. Reviewer: Sara Rofofsky Marcus
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 3—"The year after my mom and dad stopped being married to each other, I went to two seders in two places—one at Dad's apartment, and one at Mom's house," explains a young girl. She describes the six Passover meals that she has shared with her divorced parents over the last three years. Each celebration is unique, with memorable moments such as singing the Four Questions, using a new Haggadah, trying different recipes, meeting Dad's new girlfriend, and enjoying treats like chocolate lollipops and fried matzah. However, the charoset, the traditional dish of apples, nuts, cinnamon, and wine, never tastes quite right, and the girl dreams of her whole family celebrating the holiday together again. When her parents surprise her by joining together at the synagogue's community seder, the girl realizes that her dream has come true. And, as her mother explains to her: "families are like charoset. Some have more ingredients than others, some stick together better…some are sweeter…. But each one is tasty in its own way." Cis's delightful acrylic paintings beautifully complement the text, and four recipes for charoset are appended along with a glossary. After being one of the first to introduce young readers to women rabbis in Ima on the Bimah (1986) and to tackle conversion in Mommy Never Went to Hebrew School (1989, both Lerner), it is no surprise that Rabbi Portnoy has written this realistic, contemporary story.—Rachel Kamin, North Suburban Synagogue Beth El, Highland Park, IL

Product Details

Lerner Publishing Group
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
7.90(w) x 10.30(h) x 0.30(d)
Age Range:
5 - 8 Years

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