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This Is Our Seder
     

This Is Our Seder

by Ziporah Hildebrandt, Robin Roraback (Illustrator)
 

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Featuring a simple description of the food and activities at a Seder, the ritual meal of Passover, this full-color book also offers an explanation of their historical and symbolic significance.

Overview

Featuring a simple description of the food and activities at a Seder, the ritual meal of Passover, this full-color book also offers an explanation of their historical and symbolic significance.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The text for this inviting volume couldn't be simpler, as Hildebrandt (Sea Girl and the Dragon King) deftly pares down the Passover celebration to its most basic concepts. "This is our night for coming together," she begins, then, retaining the same sentence construction, she intro-duces "the plate for teaching," the "pillows for leaning," the haggadah ("the story for telling"), etc. It's Roraback's (Red, White and Blue: The Story of the American Flag) unusually spirited illustrations that serve up the storytelling. She pairs close-ups of specific items (e.g., the seder plate) with full-page views of a large, plain-looking family, everyone from grandparents to a baby, all seated at the holiday table, and she keeps the visual rhythm lively by "panning" the table in her different scenes. The characters are determinedly plain--the beauty here is in the details. Of the "pillows for leaning," for example, one is decorated with an infant Moses among the bulrushes, a couple of fish smiling up at him; when the "story for telling" is introduced, Roraback shows the children putting on a Passover puppet show for their elders. The compositions are calm but busy, with plenty of background ac-tion: a dog campaigning for handouts, a girl kicking off her party shoes as the evening wears on. Despite the explanatory note at the end, however, terms like "afikomen" and rites like opening the door (for Elijah) go undefined, so that this book is best enjoyed by families who already know the special significance of Passover. Ages 4-8. (Mar.)
Children's Literature - Judy Katsh
The book is dedicated in part to "anyone enjoying a Seder for the first time." This is, indeed, a basic introduction to both the sacramental and ornamental features of the Seder, the Jewish festival meal that celebrates and commemorates the ancient release of the Jews from their bondage in Egypt. Each page identifies and depicts, in lively cartoon-like drawings, one element of the festive meal. An extended family is pictured performing both the serious and the celebratory rituals of the holiday. Young children and other readers trying to understand what's going on will probably be best served by reading this book with a knowledgeable partner, although there is a more detailed description of the holiday at the end of the book. The delight here, though, is in the family. Clearly they are enjoying the freedom that they're celebrating.
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
PreS-In one- to two-line phrases, Hildebrandt describes the different things that make up the Passover Seder: "the greens for dipping...the matzah for breaking...the story for telling...the horseradish for tasting...." Unfortunately, there isn't much of a story here; the text is more a list of the different components of the Seder, and they are not worked together into a cohesive whole. There is nothing to hold children who know about the holiday and little to learn for those who don't. The layout works well to enhance what is here, but the characters in the cartoon illustrations are unappealing, with eyes that look as if they have x's over them-like dead people in cartoons. Hildebrandt has made unusual word choices, going from childish terms such as "yummy" to the phrase "the songs of praise for lifting our hearts high." These switches in language make the text read awkwardly, and are unlikely to speak to young children. A note explains the holiday for adults, but it isn't enough to make up for textual weaknesses. Stick with Leslie Kimmelman's Hooray! It's Passover (HarperCollins, 1997), which has more of a story and appealing illustrations.-Amy Lilien, Ferguson Library, Stamford, CT

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780823414369
Publisher:
Holiday House, Inc.
Publication date:
01/01/1999
Edition description:
1ST
Pages:
32
Product dimensions:
8.34(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.37(d)
Age Range:
5 - 8 Years

Read an Excerpt



Chapter One


This is our night for coming together.

This is the plate for teaching,

the wine for blessing,

the water for washing,

the pillows for leaning,

the greens for dipping,

(Continues...)

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