Matzo Ball Moon

Matzo Ball Moon

by Leslea Newman, Elaine Greenstein
     
 

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Eleanor's grandmother, Bubbe, makes chicken soup with matzo balls every Passover, and this year is no exception. With Eleanor's help, Bubbe makes some of the lumpiest, bumpiest, yummiest-looking matzo balls Eleanor has ever seen. These matzo balls are so delicious that no one in Eleanor's family can resist sneaking a taste, each thinking one or two matzo balls will

Overview

Eleanor's grandmother, Bubbe, makes chicken soup with matzo balls every Passover, and this year is no exception. With Eleanor's help, Bubbe makes some of the lumpiest, bumpiest, yummiest-looking matzo balls Eleanor has ever seen. These matzo balls are so delicious that no one in Eleanor's family can resist sneaking a taste, each thinking one or two matzo balls will never be missed. But when it comes time to serve the soup at the Passover meal, there aren't enough matzo balls for everyone-until Eleanor find one last matzo ball in a very unexpected place! Expressive, cheerful illustrations complement this warm story of a family's celebration of the Passover holiday and their rediscovery of its true meaning.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
For Eleanor and her family, the highlight of Passover is having Bubbe come and make her fabulous matzo ball soup. This year the recipe turns out so well that no one can enter the kitchen without sneaking a matzo ball from the panand there are so many trips to the kitchen that Bubbe falls short one matzo ball when it's time for the seder. "Eat up, all of you," she says, serving matzo balls to everyone else. "As long as my family enjoys, I enjoy." Newman (Too Far Away to Touch) captures the easy affection and love of happy families, and if Bubbe says the expected, she is also credible and has some chutzpah. The cheerfully nave style of Greenstein's (While the Candles Burn: Eight Stories for Hanukkah) painted monoprints intensifies the mood of sunny domesticity. Colors are both vivid and slightly warmed, giving the palette a comfortably well-worn look, and compositions gracefully incorporate casually festive patterns. While the art is consistently inviting, the text gets a little too sweet at the end. Eleanor, gazing at a full moon, sees it as a "big, bumpy, lumpy, yummy-looking matzo ball," and offers the metaphor up to a delighted Bubbe. The moral: when the moon in the sky is a big matzo ball, that's amore. Ages 5-8. (Mar.)
Children's Literature - Judy Chernak
If it's spring and Bubbe's coming, then Eleanor knows it's time to make matzo balls for Passover. In this family, the age-old dispute is undoubtedly resolved in favor of hard, chewy, lumpy matzo balls as opposed to the perfectly round, light, fluffy kind. They're such a hit, in fact, that no one can resist tasting at least one of the cooling bumpy balls before Seder begins. That's why Eleanor has to find an extra one in a very strange place: because there weren't enough left for Bubbe to have one in her own bowl of soup. The six-year-old with whom I shared this story pointed out that the artist forgot to show Eleanor's matzo ball cut in half, as it was before she offered it to poor Bubbe; and I found Bubbe's "Eat up, all of you. As long as my family enjoys, I enjoy" answer to the family's genuine wishes to share their precious balls with her a bit stereotypical of a long-suffering "Jewish mother" to resonate in 1998. But the book is a nice introductory Passover story that should send every child out to contemplate that extra matzo ball in the sky.
School Library Journal
K-Gr 3It's the morning of Passover and Eleanor is excited because Bubbe is coming to cook chicken soup with matzo balls. Her grandmother, who has a traditional Eastern European Jewish air about her, clearly relishes sharing the mixing and rolling and tasting. So does the rest of the family, because Daddy, Mama, and older brother Joshua all help themselves to just one, and then one more, chewy matzo ball. Alas, after the Seder is recited and the soup is served, there are no matzo balls left for Bubbe, but she is happy to watch her family eat. At the conclusion of the meal, Eleanor opens the door for the prophet Elijah. She looks up at the moon "so big and lumpy and bumpy" and sees-another matzo ball! Notes at the end of the story explain how a Seder table is set and describe some of the traditions. Lively, full-page gouache illustrations depict a happy household cheerfully sharing a holiday celebration. A humorous, warm-spirited, intergenerational story.Susan Pine, New York Public Library

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780618604814
Publisher:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date:
01/17/2006
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
32
Product dimensions:
(w) x (h) x 0.12(d)
Age Range:
4 - 7 Years

Meet the Author

Lesléa Newman is the author of more than 40 books, including Matzo Ball Moon and Remember That. She lives in Massachusetts.

Elaine Greenstein has illustrated a dozen picture books, some of which she also wrote. As a child, she says, “Our house was on the beach. I was interested in birds, especially the families of geese”—an interest she had in common with Konrad Lorenz. A native New Yorker, Ms. Greenstein lives in Brooklyn, N.Y.

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