Afikomen Mambo

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Lois Rubin Gross
This book and CD will be an upbeat addition to many Passover seders and, as Rabbi Joe Back has a sizable following among Jewish family, adding pictures to his happy, bouncy song is an inspired idea. No explanation is given as to what an afikomen is (a whole piece of matzoh hidden by family adults so that children can redeem the prize for a reward), but families who buy this book probably already know. The song itself is a little bit mambo and a little bit reggae. It is catchy, fun to sing, and has a repetitive refrain ("I'm gonna find it, I'm gonna find it, Gonna find the Afikomen") with which children can sing along. The words dance across the page as round faced, bright-eyed children of several races search high and low for the missing matzoh. As the children's ethnicity seems unrelated to the adults with them, this is clearly a Passover book for a new age. The kids in the book are clearing having fun and will inspire fun in young readers. When the concealed Afikomen is finally found, Dad turns lawyerly and suggests a "negotiation" for the reward. It is all good fun and the song will be stuck in your head long after the CD stops. A fine addition to the Passover holiday and perhaps a new tradition in song for your family. Reviewer: Lois Rubin Gross
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2—Finding the afikomen (the hidden matzah) is a favorite custom during the Jewish holiday of Passover. Black's playful song "Afikomen Mambo" is presented here as an illustrated book-and-CD combo. The music uses a Latin beat to add to the fun of the search, and listeners will want to get up and dance. The bright watercolor illustrations of a multiracial family are lively and a good match for the upbeat song. It must be noted, however, that the lyrics scan awkwardly and do not stand alone without the music. In addition, the pictures confuse the order of events somewhat by showing one child having found the afikomen and then all of the youngsters returning to the hunt; this coincides with the repetition of the chorus at the end of the song ("I'm gonna find it") but makes for a somewhat anticlimactic ending. Despite these quibbles, this kid-friendly book and CD will be popular with children, parents, and educators who are familiar with Passover vocabulary and customs.—Heidi Estrin, Feldman Children's Library at Congregation B'nai Israel, Boca Raton, FL
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780761356387
  • Publisher: Lerner Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 3/1/2011
  • Series: Passover Series
  • Format: Library Binding
  • Pages: 24
  • Age range: 2 - 5 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.75 (w) x 11.33 (h) x 0.34 (d)

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 21, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Amazing afikomen story in rhyme

    It is Pesach time and the family has gathered around the table to read from the haggadah and eat the Pesach seder meal. There are four questions to be asked, "But before the seder's done . / I'm gonna find it / I'm gonna find it / Gonna find the afikomen." The children search high and low looking for it. One boy looks under a carpet while the dog looks on, while another girl peeks under the couch. Is it under the dog dish? Perhaps it could be hidden in the closet, but there is no doubt that someone will find the afikomen before seder is done. There are many things to eat at the Pesach seder like charoset and karpas. Everyone gathers round when the story of the Exodus is read from the haggadah. "The bitter herbs they / make my eyes go crossed! / But when I find the afikomen, / I'm the boss." Is it in the bureau drawer? Everyone is anxious to be the one who finds it and children scamper around the house searching for it. There are so many different places that it can be hidden, but where is it going to be this year? Mmmmm, who is gonna find it? Will it be you? The rhyming sequence doesn't miss a beat and the afikomen mambo is extraordinarily catching. The accompanying CD, "Afkikomen Mambo," would be the perfect music to play during the actual hunt for the afikomen. The artwork is colorful, amusing, delightful, and readily catches the excitement of the hunt as children scramble throughout the house hoping that they will be *the* one to find the afikomen. Rabbi Joe Black really has a winner with this book and if you'd like to add a bit more adventure and fun to your Pesach seder, this is one book you should add to your list! Quill says: This amazing afikomen story in rhyme is an exciting way for children to learn about Pesach and the story of the Exodus.

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