Izzy the Whiz and Passover McClean

Izzy the Whiz and Passover McClean

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by Yael Mermelstein, Carrie Hartman

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Pre-Passover cleaning gets a fun twist in this rhyming tale. Izzy, an amateur inventor, has created a mother’s ultimate dream: a house-cleaning machine, and just in time for Passover. Izzy knows that all the crumbs in his home must be removed before the holiday, and his invention will do just that. “All were blown, all were thrown into Izzy’s machine/A pre-holiday feast for Passover McClean.” McClean hits a snag, however, when the machine malfunctions right after it has inhaled the entire living room for cleaning, but before it has spit it back out, dirt free. Izzy must then use his inventor’s mind to make things right hours before the holiday begins. Kids will appreciate the easy rhyming scheme and bold pictures, and wish that they could invent their own Passover cleaning machine. Ages 3�8. (Feb.)
Children's Literature - Lois Rubin Gross
It is hard to think of housecleaning as a subject for fun and rhymes, but a mechanical prodigy named Izzy the Whiz brings bounce to pre-Passover cleaning. In the Jewish tradition, the home must be thoroughly cleaned before the holiday; everything down to the finest crumbs must be eradicated from the Jewish home. Izzy's mom is so intimidated by the task that she even ignores a rodent visitor, something most Jewish moms would never do! Izzy decides to clean the house with his newly invented "Passover McClean," a sort of oversized Roomba with hands, feet, teeth, and a super-sized sucking device. Of course, there are inconsistencies with the creation. For example, Izzy is shown using chemistry to develop what is essentially a mechanical device. Also, while this is Izzy's invention, it somehow comes with an instruction book for when it inevitably goes berserk. For me, there is also a nagging question about why a device constructed to clean for Passover is given a name with the Irish prefix "Mc." Is this to imply that the creature is some sort of a gentile cleaning device so that the Jewish family does not have to do the heavy lifting? The rhyme of the book is bouncy in a Dr. Seuss kind of way. The pictures are so energized they nearly bounce off of the page. It might have been good to include the true tests of Passover cleanliness (i.e., collecting crumbs with a wooden spoon and feather by candlelight so that no dirt hides), in order to convey a fuller sense of how important lack of "shmutz" is to the observant family. Not a critical purchase for real Passover collections, this is a sort of literary macaroon to lighten holiday storytimes and does not offer substantial information. Reviewer: Lois Rubin Gross
Kirkus Reviews
Eager to help his overworked, stressed mother during the pre-Passover spring cleaning, a little boy invents a super vacuum-type machine that does more than a clean sweep. Wearing a baseball cap and circle-shaped glasses, the round-faced, google-eyed Izzy is a whiz at creating all things science in his room, which is filled with cookie crumbs and other leftover foods. While Mom takes a nap, Izzy promises to have everything neat, clean and free of hametz (foods unacceptable during Passover) by using his "Super-McDuper Passover McClean" machine. It works like a charm in his bedroom, where everything is eaten by McClean, whirled and swirled, washed and dried and then spit out and put back in place. But cleaning the living room becomes more complicated with a McClean malfunction that first swallows everything in sight and then, with Izzy's tinkering, spits everything out upside down. "Izzy jammed on REVERSE. / And reverse did the trick! That McClean was so slick, / Turned the whole room right over and did it real quick." Subdued watercolors create nevertheless zany illustrations to accompany the Prelutsky-style rhymes, presenting a confident and seriously earnest youngster working out his experimental mishaps to achieve a sparkling success. A humorous if silly way to introduce the concept of removing any leavened foods from the home as part of pre-holiday preparation. (author's note) (Picture book. 3-6)

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Product Details

Kar-Ben Publishing
Publication date:
Edition description:
Library Edition
Product dimensions:
9.80(w) x 10.00(h) x 0.40(d)
Age Range:
5 - 8 Years

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