The Elijah Door: A Passover Tale

Overview

For years the Galinskys and the Lippas have shared Seder, the special Passover dinner, together. But no more! Mama Lippa shuts her windows tight against Galinsky voices. Papa Galinsky cuts a new side door into the house to avoid seeing the Lippas. But David Lippa and Rachel Galinsky love each other, and fortunately, they have a trick up their sleeves.

This charming folktale, stunningly illustrated with hand-painted woodcuts, celebrates the joys...

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Overview

For years the Galinskys and the Lippas have shared Seder, the special Passover dinner, together. But no more! Mama Lippa shuts her windows tight against Galinsky voices. Papa Galinsky cuts a new side door into the house to avoid seeing the Lippas. But David Lippa and Rachel Galinsky love each other, and fortunately, they have a trick up their sleeves.

This charming folktale, stunningly illustrated with hand-painted woodcuts, celebrates the joys of love, freedom, and family.

A 2013 Sydney Taylor Honor Book for Younger Readers

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
The Galinskys and the Lippas have been neighbors and friends for generations, but a small bartering disagreement has sundered that friendship. Young Rachel Galinsky and David Lippa have always known they would marry, but now that fairy tale ending seems impossible. As Passover approaches and the families refuse to share the holiday meals as they always have, the two children realize that the time has come to enlist the aid of their wise rabbi, who quickly implements a plan to help bring peace to the seder table. Natchev’s artwork—created by carving an image into wood and linoleum plates, inking the image with a roller, printing it by hand, then hand-coloring with watercolors—does a magnificent job of bringing this Jewish Romeo and Juliet fable to life. Ages 4–8. (Apr.)
Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
Years ago in Eastern Europe, the Lippa and Galinsky families lived side by side in harmony. It was expected that Rachel Galinsky and David Lippa would eventually marry. But an argument over some geese made the families shun each other. Rachel and David think it is terrible that after so many years, the families will not celebrate the special Passover dinner, the Seder, together. So with the rabbi, they make a plan. The neighbors all cooperate in the scheme to bring the two families together again. When the time comes in the Seder to open the door for the prophet Elijah, it is the door previously sealed in anger that is opened at last. And so begins the yearly village celebration. Full page, black bordered, hand painted, vigorously designed woodcuts depict the details of village life, with crude houses, head-covered women, and men with beards, along with the ceremonial Seder. A personified sun and moon add to the folk tale feeling of this lively and happy story. Natchev adds details in his illustrations. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
Gr 2–5—Shtetl neighbors, once good friends, feud over a small matter and refuse to celebrate Passover together as they normally would. The children of the two families, with the help of the rabbi and other villagers, fool their parents into sharing the Seder, and peace is restored. This original story has a folktale flavor and a wry, Yiddishlike tone of voice. Passover is not really the focus of the story, but familiarity with it is assumed. Familiarity with shtetl life is also a plus as it will help readers understand descriptions like "a small village that was sometimes Poland and sometimes Russia." The story will best be appreciated by adults who understand the references and style; young readers will enjoy the humor but will require some adult explanation to truly get it. The block-print artwork, inspired by traditional Eastern European folk art, is chunky and harsh, and its odd beauty suits the story quite well. Due to its humor and appeal for adults, this book would be a good choice for family programs in communities where Passover is celebrated.—Heidi Estrin, Feldman Children's Library at Congregation B'nai Israel, Boca Raton, FL
Kirkus Reviews
A foolish argument creates a feud that can only be resolved through a wisely engineered pretense. The Galinskys and the Lippas trade geese and hens with unequal results. When the geese die and an unreasonable misunderstanding ensues, the family elders cut off their longstanding friendship. But David Lippa and Rachel Galinsky, like Romeo and Juliet, wish to marry. They seek the Rabbi's advice to bring the two families together and involve the rest of the villagers in a ruse to gain invitations from their feuding parents for the yearly Passover Seder. "One by one the neighbors came…. pleading injury, poverty, bad planning, or broken dishes." Preparations for the mammoth ceremonial dinner include a lot of furniture--stretching from each family's house until two long, winding tables almost connect between backyards. Heeding the Rabbi's plea for joyous celebration "in our love for each other," the feud ends, with the Rabbi's own table unifying the two dinners before the Seder begins. But how to welcome Elijah outside? David and Rachel go back inside to open the unused front door for the symbolic gesture. Old-world storytelling depicting a bygone era of Eastern European shtetl life is augmented by folk-art–inspired, roughly detailed woodcuts hand-colored with watercolor inks. The prudent message that all Jews are one family rings out clearly and joyfully. (Picture book/religion. 5-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780823419111
  • Publisher: Holiday House, Inc.
  • Publication date: 2/1/2012
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 1,023,615
  • Age range: 5 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 10.20 (w) x 10.30 (h) x 0.30 (d)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 16, 2012

    recommended

    Came quickly and as described.

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