The Passover Zoo Seder

Overview

"My family and I thoroughly enjoyed your Passover Zoo Seder and even 'Ma-Roared' a few times."—Senator Joseph Lieberman

"A delicious blend of fantasy and fact—flavored with tsimmes."
—Eli Wallach, actor

"Excellent!"—Steve Guttenberg, actor

"Very cute!"—Senator Barbara Boxer

"Charming."—Marilyn Michaels, comedienne
The time for Passover is coming, but the zoo animals are worried. How will they celebrate when their Haggadahs are too worn to read?
Thankfully, Shai Elephant ...

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Overview

"My family and I thoroughly enjoyed your Passover Zoo Seder and even 'Ma-Roared' a few times."—Senator Joseph Lieberman

"A delicious blend of fantasy and fact—flavored with tsimmes."
—Eli Wallach, actor

"Excellent!"—Steve Guttenberg, actor

"Very cute!"—Senator Barbara Boxer

"Charming."—Marilyn Michaels, comedienne
The time for Passover is coming, but the zoo animals are worried. How will they celebrate when their Haggadahs are too worn to read?
Thankfully, Shai Elephant remembers each and every bit of the Exodus story and assigns lines to all of the animals in the zoo. Beaded Bea Bee, Perky Parakeet, and Velvel Virus are all eager to buzz, chirp, and wheeze their parts. Everyone plays a role in the celebration-even the vultures help by finishing off the leftovers.
Written to be read aloud, these fanciful and funny Passover couplets employ whimsical wordplay and invite children and their families to share a tongue twister, chant the Dah-yaynoo with Horsey and Donkey, steal the afikoman with Chief Bobby the Baboon, and end the meal with Lion's Ma-Roar.
A glossary offers lighthearted definitions of the Passover terms used in the book, and a word search and crossword puzzle complete the fun.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Lois Rubin Gross
Some books simply try too hard, and this Passover whimsy clearly falls into this category. The premise is that all of the zoo animals gather to celebrate the Passover Seder dinner, but their Haggadot have vanished and so they are reliant on the elephant's memory to reconstruct the order of the service. Both exotic and domestic animals show up at the Seder table, including Velvel the Virus who, frankly, would not be welcome at my table. The alliteration and puns are way over the top ("Wally Walrus whined wine's Kiddush and wiped away wet tears"). In an author's note, the book is recommended for reading aloud, but this much word play is very difficult to interpret. The jokes ("Starving animals full now, but none stood in breadlines," e.g., you do not eat bread on Passover) will soar over children's heads and frankly sour in parents' mouths. The shapes on the animals in the illustrations are cunning, but the scribbled crayon fill often makes it hard to distinguish the animals from the background. And one nit-picky note: in the final picture, the Seder table is completely full. No space or spare place setting has been left for Elijah, the Prophet. How inhospitable of the animals! There is an extensive glossary of Passover terms (called a "zoology") that is a little too technical for young children, and some puzzles aimed at older readers. This is a book in search of an audience, but I suspect that the audience will not search hard to find it. Reviewer: Lois Rubin Gross
School Library Journal
K-Gr 2—The animals at the Great Zoo want to have a seder to celebrate the Jewish holiday of Passover. Who will lead it? Why, the lion, of course, who keeps order with a "Ma-Roar!" If you do not get the play on words, then this book is not for you; it is written from an insider perspective and is not meant to educate readers, despite the inclusion of a somewhat tongue-in-cheek glossary. Forced rhymes, tongue-tying alliteration, overly long text, and shaky logic make the book a difficult read. Amateurish cartoon sketches in felt tip and crayon do nothing to enhance the story. A word search and crossword puzzle, both inappropriately difficult, are included at the end, encouraging defacement of the book. Libraries can pass on this title.—Heidi Estrin, Feldman Children's Library at Congregation B'nai Israel, Boca Raton, FL
Kirkus Reviews
How can Passover be celebrated at the zoo when the only Haggadah is too worn to read? Shai Elephant, who is not shy, suggests an oral recitation based on memory, complete with assigned parts for each animal. Sheep bleats the traditional four questions—"Maaah Nishtanaaah"—and Horsey and Donkey whinny "all of Dah-yaynoo," while Lion approves with his "Ma-Roar!"Many a large family Seder can appear to be zoo-like in its atmosphere, with a large crowd of adults and children who often contribute to a din. Yet this hokey, banal parody fails to bring any charm or amusement to juvenile Passover literature. Fun is an appropriate part of a cheerful and joyous family Seder, but reading aloud this forced, unmetered rhyme with its complicated series of tongue-twisters and pun-oriented dialogue, as instructed by the author, is as tedious as a drawn-out adult ceremonial dinner. "Pharoah-proud Peacocks paraded, the abject slaves of new fashion. / Whitefish were Gefilte—snacks Loony Loons crave with passion. / Marvelous Marmoset Marvie murmured Mom's Hadleek Nair / She got too close to the candles, slightly singeing her hair." Crude pen-and-crayon drawings add to the painful absurdity of this telling. (Picture book/religion.5-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781589809727
  • Publisher: Pelican Publishing Company, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 1/18/2011
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 1,461,373
  • Age range: 5 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.30 (w) x 11.10 (h) x 0.40 (d)

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