Passover Is for Kids (Books)
A Seder for Grover (Sesame Street) By Joni Kibort Sussman. Illustrated by Tom Leigh. (Kar-Ben Publishing, 12 pp. $5; ages 3 to 5)
Beloved Sesame Street characters cavort across the sturdy pages of this board book as they prepare to attend their friend Avigail’s seder. Muppets Avigail and Moshe Oofnik will be familiar to anyone who has watched Rehov Sumsum, the Israeli version of the show. Their guests are Big Bird, who has a craving for matzah; Cookie Monster, who is firmly told, “You can eat only special kinds of cookies on Passover”; and Oscar—who has nothing to grouch about on this happy holiday.
The Best Four Questions By Rachelle Burk. Illustrated by Melanie Florian. (Kar-Ben Publishing, 32 pp. $17.99 hardcover, $7.99 paperback; ages 3 to 8)
Marcy has learned to read, so now it is her turn to ask the Four Questions at the family seder. But Marcy goes off script, asking four different questions that she has long pondered, among them: “How many matzah balls in Grandma’s soup?” “Is horseradish made from horses?” Her amused family offers answers, and they all learn that there are 24 matzah balls in Grandma’s chicken soup. Only then, with big brother Jake’s help, does Marcy happily sing the traditional “Mah Nishtanah.”
Matzah Belowstairs By Susan Lynn Meyer. Illustrated by Mette Engell. (Kar-Ben Publishing, 24 pp. $17.99 hardcover, $7.99 paperback; ages 4 to 8)
Miriam Mouse and her family live in the basement. They love making a seder but are dismayed when the “upstairs family,” the Winklers, clean so well for Passover that not even a matzah crumb remains. Undaunted, Miriam, aided by little Eli Winkler, manages to obtain a piece of the afikoman, and both humans and mice are able to observe a festive seder.
Pippa’s Passover Plate By Vivian Kirkfield. Illustrated by Jill Weber. (Holiday House, 40 pp. $17.99; ages 4 to 8)
Pippa, another enterprising mouse, hurries to prepare for the seder but, alas, cannot find her seder plate. Who can help her? A mouse, a cat, a snake, an owl and a goldfish. Once the plate is rescued, the matzah is hidden and Pippa welcomes her new friends with bouquets of daisies and “a seder meal by candlelight.” Weber’s illustrations enhance Vivian Kirkfield’s sparkling rhymes.
No Seder Without You: Passover Past and Future By Joan Goldstein Parker. Illustrated by Michael Sayre. (Golden Alley Press, 61 pp. $9.95; ages 8 to 12)
That children are indeed the stars of the seder is underscored in this tender memoir of Passovers past told by a grandmother who recalls her own mother telling her, “There is no seder without you.” Joan Goldstein Parker’s account is filled with anecdotes, humor and, of course, recipes. Of special interest may be Grandma Miriam’s maror—which her grandchildren claimed “was being tested by government scientists to send rockets into space.”
Gloria Goldreich’s new novel, After Melanie, will be published in May by Severn House.