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1. Passover Picture Book Review: Afikomen Mambo and The Matzah Man

Every year at Pesach time,
We eat the matzah, we drink the wine.
We ask four questions one by one,
But before the seder’s done…

The moment Afikomen Mambo arrived, my kids fought over it. One look at the bright, happy cover and they knew there was a fun beat inside.

While Christian children have the Easter egg hunt, at Passover our children search for the afikomen, a piece of matzah traditionally broken in half at the beginning of the seder and then hidden for the children to find when the seder is over. The child who finds the afikomen is awarded a prize, and what could be a better prize than Afikomen Mambo?

Now you can hide it in a table,
Hide it in a box,
Underneath the stairway,
Or inside the kitchen clock.
You can put it in your pocket,
Put it under the TV,
But you can’t hide the afikomen from me…

The book by Rabbi Joe Black sports a catchy rhyme and even catchier CD with the mambo song–you can play the music for the kids while they peek under pillows and behind bookcases. The whimsical watercolor illustrations by Linda Prater are bright and cheerful (except for when the characters make faces at the bitter herbs!).

I’m gonna find it, I’m gonna find it,
I’m gonna find it, I’m gonna find,
Gonna find the afikomen!

This is a must-have book for Jewish families with young children. You can begin a Passover tradition with the reading of the book and singing of the Afikomen Mambo song. Kudos to Kar-Ben Publishing for producing delightfully fun books for Jewish holidays.

Another playful book for Passover is The Matzah Man by Naomi Howland.

Hot from the oven I jumped and ran,
So clever and quick, I’m the Matzah Man!

You guessed it–it’s a take-off on the Gingerbread Man with a whole new rhyme scheme and cast of characters. There’s Grandma Tillie and her tender brisket, Auntie Bertha shopping in high heels, Grandpa Solly chopping onions, Miss Axelrod stirring her soup, and you’ll never guess who swaps roles with the tricky fox, finally outsmarting the Matzah Man.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to mambo while I make matzah ball soup.

Happy Passover!


1 Comments on Passover Picture Book Review: Afikomen Mambo and The Matzah Man, last added: 4/15/2011
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