Matzah Ball

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Sometimes a miracle is just what a guy needs before he can stop feeling sorry for himself, according to Portnoy's heartfelt tale. Heading for a ball game to cheer on his beloved Baltimore Orioles, Aaron is dreading junk food-withdrawal: it's Passover, and he can't chow down on the requisite hotdogs and popcorn. But the grass is greener in the other yard, it seems (or in the other ballpark), as Aaron's friends decide they prefer the kosher-for-Passover lunch fare packed by his mother; soon the boy has no food left. A stranger provides a bit of nourishment, however, along with a surprise ending that puts a literal spin on this book's title. With most of these action-packed spreads set in or around Camden Yards (with an unexpected detour to Ebbets Field), Kahn's soft-focus, warmly colored illustrations will gladden young baseball enthusiasts. But though her scenic renderings pack a punch, facial features are unevenly captured. Still, enhanced by suitably forthright writing and a credible narrative voice, this distinctive effort scores at least a triple. Ages 5-9. (Mar.)
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 3-Blending baseball and Passover facts, this contemporary, fast-paced story demonstrates that ``It's not always easy being Jewish, but sometimes it can lead to miracles.'' Aaron's happiness at going with his friends to see the Baltimore Orioles is tempered by his mother's reminder that it is Passover and that he can't eat pretzels, crackerjacks, or ice cream. His non-Jewish friends eagerly devour his special lunch, which he refuses to eat. Aaron dislikes being different, especially when the others make one last trip to the concession stands. Surprised when an elderly man (could it be Elijah?) sits down beside him, Aaron listens to the man's memories of Jewish baseball fans going to games at Ebbets Field and receives a special piece of matzah that miraculously helps him catch a home-run ball hit into the bleachers. Bold, detailed watercolors perfectly complement the text's realistic language and emotions. Similar in theme to Barbara Cohen's Make a Wish, Molly (Doubleday, 1994), this will be a hit with sports lovers and anyone seeking an added dimension to a holiday story.-Bonnie Siegel, Westacres Public Library, West Bloomfield, MI
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780929371696
  • Publisher: Lerner Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 2/1/1994
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 5 - 9 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.69 (w) x 11.04 (h) x 0.16 (d)

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