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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: Passover, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 25 of 30
1. Crazy Chicken

From the book, Passover Cowboy, illustrated by Gina Capaldi

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2. When’s Easter?

The phrase “moveable feast,” while popularized by Ernest Hemingway’s memoir, refers primarily to the holidays surrounding Passover and Easter. Although “Easter” is not a biblical word, Passover is a major holiday in the Jewish calendar. The origins of the festival, while disputed among scholars, are narrated in the biblical texts in Exodus 12–13

The post When’s Easter? appeared first on OUPblog.

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3. An Orthodox Passover

I remember the Passover Seder as a very special time. My brothers and I got new clothes that we had to save specially until that evening; this heightened our sense of anticipation and symbolized the special nature of this holiday. I can still envision preparing for Passover in the Orthodox home of my childhood: I remember the frenzied work of emptying out all our cabinets, packing up the food we ate for the other 357 days of the year and lining all the cabinets, the stove, and the refrigerator with extra thick aluminum foil.

The post An Orthodox Passover appeared first on OUPblog.

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4. IF: wool

"wool" reminds me of a stack of packages that was left at my door last friday:

Surprise, it's a new book!

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5. What does Passover celebrate?

Tonight marks the first night of Passover, so I thought I’d share a bit about what the holiday celebrates and what it means to me. Passover is one of the most important Jewish holidays of the year, and is probably the most observed Jewish holiday after Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur (despite what people think about Hanukah!). Etched in Clay

Passover commemorates the story of the Israelites’ exodus from Egypt, as told in the old testament (or, if you’re the kind of person who waits for the movie to come out, as told in The Ten Commandments). According to the story, the Israelites were enslaved in Egypt for 400 years, until God, with the help of Moses, led them out of Egypt and into freedom.
Whether or not you believe in God or the Old Testament, the Passover story resonates. For me, one of the most meaningful parts of it is the acknowledgement of how truly terrible and traumatic slavery is: terrible enough that, although Jews were slaves many thousands of years ago, we still recall the experience in great detail every year. We even eat bitter herbs during the seder, the traditional Passover meal, so that the bitter taste of slavery is fresh on our tongues.

Unfortunately, slavery is not ancient history; in fact, it’s alive and well in many parts of the world. Whether enslaved by law, by force, or by poverty, many human beings living on earth today are not free. Passover is a time to really meditate on what that means – and, perhaps, on our part in it. What have I done to support or abolish slavery? Am I buying from companies with good labor practices? Am I aware of what’s happening in my own community? Are there sustainable ways of dismantling slavery that I can support?

A Song for Cambodia

Although slavery is a heavy subject, I actually think it’s one that young people can really understand deeply, and Passover is a great time to explore it together. Over at Pinterest, we’ve rounded up some books for children about Passover and/or freedom. These books are great ways to start a discussion with young readers about slavery, both ancient and modern.

Another resource I’ll be thinking about a lot this year is a documentary I saw last week called Girl Rising, by the organization 10 x 10. The documentary focuses on the stories of ten girls from around the world and shows that for many young women, the passage from slavery to freedom is an education. Definitely worth watching, and suitable for children 12 and up. Taking kids to a screening near you would be a great way to celebrate the holiday.

Yasmin's Hammer

If you have other slavery/freedom related resources for young people, feel free to leave them in the comments. And to all those who are celebrating tonight, I wish you all a very happy (and meaningful) Passover!

Further Reading:

What does Ramadan celebrate?

What does Chinese New Year celebrate?

Filed under: Holidays Tagged: Cambodia, freedom, Girl Rising, holidays, Jewish, passover, slavery

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6. Max Makes a Cake: Michelle Edwards & Charles Santoso

Book: Max Makes a Cake
Author: Michelle Edwards
Illustrator: Charles Santoso
Pages: 32
Age Range: 3-8

Max Makes a Cake is a new picture book by Michelle Edwards and Charles Santoso. It's a gentle introduction to some of the customs surrounding Passover, but it's also a story about independence. Max Osher is probably about five years old. He lives with his parents and baby sister. His mother's birthday falls during Passover, and Max and his father are supposed to make her a special Passover-friendly cake (from a mix). However, Daddy gets caught up in the needs of Max's sister, Trudy. And Max is forced to take matters into his own hands. The cake he makes (and no, safety conscious people, he does not use the oven) is creative and fun. 

I'm not a fan of nonfiction disguised as fiction. As in, a book designed to introduce kids to what Passover is, disguised as a story about cake. But that is NOT what this is. What makes Max Makes a Cake work is that the entire book focuses on Max. Passover is introduced, but only as it relates to Max. So we have: 

"Max Osher was an expert at getting dressed. He could almost pie his shoes. And he knew the Four Questions for Passover in Hebrew and English. He sang them in both languages at the Passover Seder. All by himself. Without any help." 

There's even a completely kid-friendly explanation of what Matzoh is, which Max relates to his sister. The bottom line is that Max is a real kid. He is SO impatient when his dad is delayed. And he is SO proud of himself when his attempt to make frosting works. Most of the action in the book centers around the cake. 

I thought that this book might be over my three year old's head, but she adores it. In fact, she declared it her favorite book (though we haven't read it very many times). If I think about it, there's nothing much more kid-friendly than cake. To have a kid make his own cake, for his mother, is inherently cool. And Michelle Edwards understands the interests of preschoolers, I think. Like this:

"Trudy tipped over her sippy cup. She spit out her banana smush. Then she pooped." 

Yeah, that's life with a baby in the baby in the house.

Charles Santoso's illustrations are a nice fit for the story. Max is bright-eyed, with expressive features. His glower as he waits impatiently for Daddy is completely true to life. The characters are shown large against the canvas, with minimal backgrounds, keeping the reader's attention on the people. 

At the end of Max Makes a Cake readers will find the recipe for Max's cake, followed by a single page of factual information about Passover. Just enough to give interested readers a jumping off point. 

Max Makes a Cake is an engaging book for young kids about taking matters into their own hands. And about cake. It also introduces the concept of eating matzoh for Passover. For Jewish kids, I think this will likely be validating to see. For kids who aren't Jewish, Max Makes a Cake opens a little window into other faiths, without being at all heavy-handed. Well done all around, I'd say. And well worth a look for home or library use.  

Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers (@RandomHouseKids
Publication Date: January 28, 2014
Source of Book: Review copy from the publisher

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This site is an Amazon affiliate, and purchases made through Amazon links (including linked book covers) may result in my receiving a small commission (at no additional cost to you).

© 2014 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @JensBookPage or at my Growing Bookworms page on Facebook

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7. Dayenu!

Pour the wine (or grape juice) and chop the nuts and apples. Here are some new books for Passover. (And here are two more.)



balsley its a mitzvah grover Dayenu!Two Shalom Sesame series entries, written by Tilda Balsley and Ellen Fischer and illustrated by Tom Leigh, follow Sesame Street characters in Israel as they learn about doing good deeds. In It’s a Mitzvah, Grover!, Grover and friends clean up a playground after a storm, though Moishe the grouch hesitates to participate. In Grover and Big Bird’s Passover Celebration, Big Bird joins Grover and learns about Passover as they do mitzvot en route to a seder. The tone is un-preachy and preschoolers will recognize the friendly cast of characters. (both Kar-Ben, 2013)

glaser hoppy passover Dayenu!The rabbit family that celebrated Hanukkah in author Linda Glaser and illustrator Daniel Howarth’s Hoppy Hanukkah! now joyously observes Passover. In Hoppy Passover!, siblings Violet and Simon participate in traditions such as reciting the Four Questions and preparing the Seder plate. The rabbit-children’s infectious excitement comes across in both text and illustrations (though the cheerful, pastel-colored palette and bouncing bunnies may bring to mind another springtime holiday).
(Whitman, 2011)



adler passover Dayenu!David A. Adler follows up 2011′s The Story of Hanukkah with the The Story of Passover . The straightforward text touches on Jacob and the Children of Israel; slavery and Pharaoh’s cruelty; Moses’s encounter with the burning bush; the ten plagues; and the Red Sea escape. Jill Weber’s expressive, rich-hued acrylics play up the drama (ew, lice) but also offer reassurance and even some humor through small, eye-pleasing details. (Holiday, 2014)

glaser stone soup with matzoh balls Dayenu!Stone Soup with Maztoh Balls: A Passover Tale in Chelm begins with a stranger arriving in Chelm on Passover. Let “all who are hungry come and eat,” sure, but the villagers don’t have much to share. The stranger produces a stone, promising to make matzoh ball soup…and you know the rest. Linda Glaser’s well-cadenced text and Maryam Tabatabaei’s digital-looking art are as light as the Chelmites’ matzo balls (“…so light they can almost fly”). (Whitman, 2014)

kimmelman little red hen and the passover matzah Dayenu!Who will help make the Passover matzah? When Sheep, Horse, and Dog prove unreliable, stereotypical Jewish mother Little Red Hen (somewhat grudgingly) takes up the reins.  The good-natured cadence of Leslie Kimmelman’s text for The Little Red Hen and the Passover Matzah extends the mother-hen comparison, while Paul Meisel’s affectionate ink, watercolor, and  pastel illustrations keep things from going too far over the top. An author’s note about Passover and a matzah recipe are appended. (Holiday, 2010)

passover lamb Dayenu!Miriam, protagonist of Linda Elovitz Marshall’s The Passover Lamb, is looking forward to singing the Four Questions at her grandparents’ Passover seder. But when a newborn lamb on the family’s farm is abandoned by its mother, Miriam worries she’ll have to miss the seder to care for the unwanted baby. Her solution is unsurprising but charming; soft illustrations by Tatjana Mai-Wyss reinforce Miriam’s affection for the (particularly cute) baby sheep. (Random House, 2013)

portnoy tale of two seders Dayenu!In A Tale of Two Seders by Mindy Avra, a young girl has gone to six different Passover seders in the three years since her parents’ divorce. At the sixth seder, attended by both her mom and dad, the girl’s mother likens families to different varieties of charoset, a traditional dish: “Some have more ingredients…But each one is tasty in its own way.” The realistic story is accompanied by Valeria Cis’s pattern-filled illustrations. Charoset recipes are included. (Kar-Ben, 2010)

longest night Dayenu!A young Jewish slave describes the ten plagues and the Israelites’ hurried flight from Egypt in The Longest Night: A Passover Story. Illustrator Catia Chien’s dark, expansive acrylic paintings are well matched with Laurel Snyder’s impeccable rhyming couplets (although some illustrations, such as a full-page, open-jawed wolf, may be too intense for very young readers). The concluding spreads, featuring the parting of the Red Sea and a gorgeous sunrise, are a treat. (Random House/Schwartz & Wade, 2013)

strauss elijah door Dayenu!In a small village long ago, the once-close Lippa and Galinsky families feuded. With the rabbi, their children (who loved one another) enacted a plan to bring their families together for Seder so that Passover could truly be celebrated. How the whole village participates makes Linda Leopold Strauss’s The Elijah Door: A Passover Tale  a warmhearted story of reconciliation and togetherness. Strikingly painted woodcuts by Alexi Natchev illustrate the Passover tale. (Holiday, 2012)

weber yankee at the seder Dayenu!In 1865, a Jewish family in Virginia hosts an unanticipated Passover guest: a Yankee soldier. The “festival of freedom,” here celebrated by people with conflicting beliefs but a common cultural history, has great meaning. Elka Weber’s The Yankee at the Seder, a well-told tale based on actual events, is accompanied by Adam Gustavson’s richly textured oil paintings. Endnotes provide more information about the real-life figures and the Passover holiday. (Tricycle, 2009)

ziefert passover celebrating now remembering then Dayenu!Harriet Ziefert’s appealing Passover: Celebrating Now, Remembering Then presents contemporary Passover rituals alongside a retelling of the festival story. Left-hand pages include “Now” information while right-hand gatefold pages open to reveal the “Then” side: additional details about the Passover tale. Karla Gudeon’s unfussy illustrations against natural-paper-textured backgrounds help illuminate events. The decorated endpapers are adorned with holiday symbols. (Blue Apple, 2010)

share save 171 16 Dayenu!

The post Dayenu! appeared first on The Horn Book.

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8. Passover in Jewish Eastern Europe

By Glenn Dynner

Today, observant Jews the world over are selling off their leavened foodstuffs (chametz) in preparation for the Passover holiday, which begins with a seder this evening and is followed by eight days of eating matzah, macaroons, and other unleavened products.

But in Eastern Europe, where the vast majority of American Jews have roots, the sale of leavened products not only used to be more widespread, it was more complicated. Many East European Jews—almost 40%—made their living selling beer, wine, and rye-based vodka in taverns leased from the Polish nobility. Passover was a forced holiday for them.

Henryk Rodakowski, “Karczmarz Jasio,” z cyklu Album Pałahickie, 1867, akwarela na papierze, 32 x 23 cm.

Henryk Rodakowski, “Karczmarz Jasio,” z cyklu Album Pałahickie, 1867, akwarela na papierze, 32 x 23 cm.

During the eight days of Passover, Jewish tavernkeepers had to “sell” all of their leavened products to non-Jewish neighbors. Rabbis drew up contracts for the fictitious sales similar to those utilized today, a loophole meant to prevent economic ruin.

Problems emerged in the early nineteenth century, when the government attempted to drive Jews out of rural tavernkeeping (ostensibly to protect the peasants from drunkenness and ruin) by imposing heavy concession fees on them. The Hasidic master Moses Eliyakim Beriyah of Kozienice lamented that “several of the [Jewish] villagers were forced to apostatize because of their need to make a living.”

The main issue for the numerous traveling Jewish merchants, who relied on Jewish-run taverns for hospitality, was not that those proprietors had converted to Christianity. It was that, according to Jewish law, the proprietors were technically still Jewish. Yet who could be sure that they were “selling off” their leaven products to gentiles during the intermediate days of Passover? This cast doubt on the ritual fitness of everything they sold. A governmental investigation, preserved in Polish archival records, confirms that most Jewish customers refused to purchase liquor from apostate tavernkeepers on these grounds.

Thus, conversion to Christianity did not turn out to be much of a solution for Jewish tavernkeepers struggling under the weight of discriminatory legislation. Instead, many began to evade concession fees by going underground—permanently installing Christians as “fronts” for their taverns. They did this with the full knowledge and participation of their Christian neighbors, a beautiful reflection of Jewish-Christian coexistence at the local level during the rise of absolutism!

Glenn Dynner is Professor of Jewish Studies at Sarah Lawrence College and the author of Yankel’s Tavern: Jews, Liquor, and Life in the Kingdom of Poland. He has been a Fellow at the Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies at the University of Pennsylvania, a member of the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton University, and is currently the NEH Senior Scholar at the Center for Jewish History in New York.

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The post Passover in Jewish Eastern Europe appeared first on OUPblog.

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9. Little Passports Passover Stories and Facebook Giveaway

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**The links in this post are affiliate links and I will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on my link.

Passover has begun! I have a fun post to share with your friends about Passover traditions that many of our friends are celebrating this week as well as a big giveaway that Little Passports is running on their Facebook page. Share your family traditions and get creative!

Little Passports Passover Stories and Facebook Giveaway
Did you know the Jewish holiday of Passover began last night, April 14th, at sunset and continues until the night of April 22nd? This important holiday commemorates the liberation of the Jewish people in Ancient Egypt. If you have a minute, check out the post on the Little Passports Blog where a Little Passports employee details one of her favorite childhood memories of the Seder during the first night of Passover. Do you have any fun family traditions you’d like to share with us?

Little Passports is also hosting their own Facebook giveaway this week! Use this link below to sign up to win a 1 year Little Passports subscription and a 1 year NatureBox subscription. (That is almost $400 worth of goodies!) The deadline to sign up to win this prize is April 18th. If you miss out on this weeks opportunity, don’t fret…There are 2 more weeks of giveaways to enter.


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The post Little Passports Passover Stories and Facebook Giveaway appeared first on Jump Into A Book.

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10. Book Expo: Jewish Books for Kids

SHOW NOTES: The final installment of interviews with publishers and authors from the show floor at Book Expo America 2009. This episode highlights Jewish books for kids and teens.


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I am pleased to announce that content from The Book of Life has been included in the new Jewish Book Search tool created by the Jewish Publication Society!

Here's their description of the tool: "JPS has put together a list of the highest quality websites with Jewish Book content. This search engine queries those sites and those alone. This will allow you to be sure that your search will only be related to Jewish Books. No more sifting through tons of content for what you are looking for. Search for any and all Jewish Books, articles about Jewish Books, blogs about Jewish Books, and anything about the Jewish Book world. Search by title, author, keyword, or area of interest!"

Go ahead and try it out! If you'd like to embed the tool on your own site, visit JPS.

Jewish Book Search


Produced by: Feldman Children's Library at Congregation B'nai Israel
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11. The Little Red Hen and the Passover Matzah

I thought it would be seasonally appropriate to share with you the starred review I wrote about The Little Red Hen and the Passover Matzah for School Library Journal. This is a delightful new Passover story, that I used successfully with several Kindergarten and first grade classes in our religious school recently. For more info about author Leslie Kimmelman and her books, see www.lesliekimmelman.net.

KIMMELMAN, Leslie. The Little Red Hen and the Passover Matzah. illus. by Paul Meisel. unpaged. glossary. CIP. Holiday House. Mar. 2010. Tr $16.95. ISBN 978-0-8234-1952-4. LC 2008048488.

PreS-Gr 3—This Yiddish-inflected retelling of "The Little Ren Hen" features a balabusta (good homemaker) who kvetches about her lazy no-goodnik friends who will not help her make matzah from wheat. When they show up at the Passover Seder, the hen scolds, "What chutzpah!" Ultimately, however, they repent and the hen forgives them because she is a mensch. All ends happily as they make up for their earlier bad behavior by doing the dishes. The droll ink, watercolor, and pastel cartoon illustrations have a friendly charm that makes a nice contrast with the story's wry humor. The Yiddish vocabulary and speech patterns will have Jewish adults rolling in the aisles, and children will enjoy the merging of familiar Passover and folktale elements. It's entertaining to those in the know, but readers unfamiliar with the holiday may be mystified by the humor, and they will gain little understanding of the traditions of Passover. An endnote on the holiday's history, a matzah recipe, and a glossary round out the package, but the book should be used in combination with more traditional tales or with audiences who already observe Passover. It's a must for Judaica collections and a solid choice for large general collections.—Heidi Estrin, Feldman Children's Library at Congregation B'nai Israel, Boca Raton, FL

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12. Happy Passover

Happy Passover and best wishes from Through the Looking Glass Book Review

You can view the books I have reviewed about Passover on the Through the Looking Glass Passover feature page.

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13. Book Review Wednesday: The Matzah that Papa Brought Home

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Books with a “This is the House that Jack Built” format often use the first line as the title of the book. However, the first line is just a starting point from which to build the actual story. “This is the house that Jack built,” is not about the house at all but about the community around the house. Similarly, The Matzah that Papa Brought Home, by Fran Manushkin, illustrated by Ned Bittinger, is not about matzah at all but about the Passover seder.


With tight and lyrical rhyme, Manushkin captures the high points of the Passover Seder from a child’s point of view. The narrator is clearly the child of the “Papa” who brought home the matzah. The child voice is unmistakable in the fourth spread into the story, when we read, “This is me standing tall and proud/ to ask the Four Questions nice and loud/ during the Passover Seder we shared/ to eat the feast that Mama made/ with the matzah that Papa brought home.” This passage reveals that the narrator is the youngest child in this family and the illustration portrays a sweet six-year-old girl who is glowing with the responsibilities of her question-asking task. My inner-child especially connected with the line, “This is “Dayenu,” a very long song/ that we sang with our stomachs growling along…”


Bittinger’s paintings are rendered in oil paint on linen using deep shadow and glowing light to intensify emotion and lead the eye of the viewer around the painting. From the feast, to clearing the table, to the child trying to sneak a bit of matzah, the images capture the chaos and order of a Passover Seder. My favorite image is of the narrator sitting on Papa’s lap, each of them taking pinkies full of wine to diminish their pleasure while reciting the plagues. The figures are bathed in light, the background a deep brown/black but in the middle values, frogs and locusts hop, and rains fall on enslaved Hebrew workers. This dreamy sequence allows two stories, Manushkin’s and the Exodus, to be told at the same time. www.franmanushkin.com/thematzahpapabroughthome.htm


The only issue I had with the book was the line, “This is the feast that Mama made with the matzah that Papa brought home.” I stumbled over this line when reading it aloud to my boys and we all looked at each other. My son said, “The roasted chicken [in the illustration] didn’t come from the matzah.” I agreed. Obviously, the feast was made to go along with the matzah but the syntax suggested that the whole feast was made from the matzah.


Scholastic published the book in 1995, and it is well worth the interlibrary loan. If you are looking to buy the book, it was reprinted in paperback in 2001 and should be available for order through your nearest Indie-bookshop. Happy Passover to all!



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14. Animal Wednesday: How Many Bunnies...

As I was bopping around the house the other day I noticed I had quite a few little bunnies here and there besides the dust variety. I remembered KJ's challenge of seeing how many hearts we all had around the house, so here's my Easter/Spring challenge.
Take pics of bunnies around your place, real or otherwise but ones that are always in plain view. Here are a few of mine!
The top picture are some love buns in the kitchen over the glass cabinets.
Here's a closer (yet blurry) view.

These buns are on my baker's rack in the kitchen. The white one I bought at a yard sale in California for five bucks. It's some kind of Italian porcelain. I love her!
The two little stone bunnies were rescued here and there. I always keep these two little girls together.
Here's my pretty Italian girl close-up. She's definately centerfold material!
  And the little girls in front of a tureen. They're quite shy! The little black one is really old and worn so she's hard to see clearly.
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15. Booklights, Poetry Month, and More

I was going to post yesterday, but was floored by the number of options available given the day. I mean, you had April Fool's Day, the first day of Poetry Month, Passover, Easter weekend, my Booklights day, and my Diary of a Wimpy Kid movie viewing. Too much!

So let's knock this out here. Fuse#8 got me with her April Fool's Day joke, but I'll just focus on the laughing and direct you the hysterical book I've been reading lately. It's not for kids, and may be a little blue for many adults, but boy is it funny. If you like comedy - and who doesn't - check out I Killed: True Stories from the Road from America's Top Comics.

Poetry Month is off and running among the blogs, and the schedule is available as its own page at KidLitosphere Central. Nice School Library Journal write-up too.

I was dying to embed the Steven Colbert video where he shows off the new Passover Plague puppets. Watch it at the thirteen minute mark (the second segment). We've been laughing about it all week. "I don't know, be alive."

For Easter, I was going to write about back-up bunny books that you could pick-up if you missed your holiday grab at the library. Then I realized that there were over three hundred picture books featuring rabbits at my local library, so I'm going to point to Beatrix Potter and leave it at that. I reserved my Booklights post for a shout-out to poetry month.

Also I saw Diary of a Wimpy Kid with my thirteen and ten year old daughters, and we all loved it. Laughed a lot and throughly enjoyed myself. The casting is excellent, and the film captures the feel of the book while expanding on it and making it feel stunningly realistic. The kids look like real kids. What kind of way is that to make a movie? (Pssst! Hollywood? An excellent way.)

I'm offline for a few days to enjoy the pleasant holiday weekend. Hope you have the sunshine that we have here. It's beginning to feel like... spring.

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16. Yuvi's Candy Tree

Author Lesley Simpson offered to interview herself, and I couldn't pass that up! She talks about Yuvi's Candy Tree (Kar-Ben, 2011), a picture book on Ethiopian Jews fleeing to Israel based on the true story of Yuvi Tashome. With its strong Exodus themes, it makes a great tie-in to Passover; it's also a universal immigration story and a good illustration of the diversity of the Jewish family.

Yuvi's Candy Tree is a PJ Library selection for ages 8 and up. You can take a look at their reading guide here.


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17. 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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18. National Poetry Month: Let My People Go!

It's after sundown! Happy Pesach!

So, here's a song for today's poetry entry.

When Israel was in Egypt land,
Let my people go!
Oppressed so hard they could not stand,
Let my people go!

Go down, Moses, way down in Egpyt land
Tell old Pharoah, to let my people go!

Thus saith the Lord, bold Moses said,
Let my people go!
If not I'll smite your firstborn dead,
Let my people go!

Go down, Moses, way down in Egpyt land
Tell old Pharoah, to let my people go!

No more shall they in bondage toil,
Let my people go!
Let them come out with Egypt's spoil,
Le my people go!

Go down, Moses, way down in Egpyt land
Tell old Pharoah, to let my people go!

Here's one of my favorite videos of the song, during the writer's strike:

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Let My People Go
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical Humor & Satire BlogVideo Archive

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19. Happy Happy...a winner...and another giveaway!

To all of our Buzz fans, I want to wish you a Happy Passover and Happy Easter! Wow...is spring really upon us? I sure do hope so. We've been in Gettysburg for the last month...or as I call it, Wettysburg. I know April showers bring May flowers...those need to be some pretty stupendous flowers! LOL!

Some good news to share is the WINNER of my Meg Cabot book giveaway. A copy of AVALON HIGH CORONATION goes to...


Congrats! Please e-mail me at marley_gibson AT yahoo DOT com with your name and mailing address.

Now...to this week's giveaway. (Isn't this fun?) I'm giving away a copy of my fellow St. Martin's Press author, C. C. Hunter's book BORN AT MIDNIGHT. The cover is reallllly dark and cool.

To enter the book giveaway, please leave a comment letting us know what you and yours are planning for the Passover/Easter holidays. Anything yummy to eat? Family traditions?

Marley = )


The next installment of the popular Ghost Huntress series
Coming May 2nd! Everything's not as it seems...

18 Comments on Happy Happy...a winner...and another giveaway!, last added: 4/21/2011
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20. Moving ... to wordpress.com

For a few reasons, I am starting a new blog on WordPress. Please book mark me at http://redcrested.wordpress.com/ and come visit me over there. One of the main reasons is that I will be able to guest blog and have guests on my blog easily via triberr.com. Another reason has to do with links and other tech items. I will keep this blog for awhile and may try doing two blogs, as I know that many writers do.

Happy Easter, Happy Passover! Passover means I can buy Coke at the grocery store without corn products, it comes in bottles with a yellow cap, for a week. One week out of a year. I'm off to Albertson's. Then, on Monday it means 1/2 price chocolate at Walgreen's. That's what I learned from my friend Ginny several years ago. She always bought chocolate after Easter and after Halloween. I like those little individually wrapped Dove dark chocolates, and never buy them ... except after Easter and Halloween. I keep them in the freezer and have one after dinner. Now to write!

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21. And meanwhile, over at Pinterest…

In case you missed it, on Pinterest this week we created a booklist of books with Passover themes:

Books with Passover themes

Including, of course, Where on Earth is My Bagel?

Head on over and check it out. Even though Passover’s almost over, themes like freedom and gratitude deserve to be contemplated year-round.

Filed under: Holidays, Musings & Ponderings Tagged: Book Lists, booklist, passover

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22. A Civil War Passover


Yankee at the Seder by Elka Weber, illustrated by Adam Gustavson, is a picture book about a Yankee Jewish soldier who spends Passover with a Confederate Jewish family. It is historian Elka Weber's first book for children, and it's based on a kernel of true Civil War history.


Click the play button on this flash player to listen to the podcast now:

Or click MP3 File to start your computer's media player.


If you are on Facebook, you can now receive posts about new Book of Life episodes on your wall by becoming a "Follower" through Networked Blogs at www.networkedblogs.com/blog/the_book_of_life!


Our background music is provided by The Freilachmakers Klezmer String Band.

Books and CD's mentioned on the show may be borrowed from the Feldman Children's Library at Congregation B'nai Israel. Browse our online catalog to reserve books, post a review, or just to look around!

Your feedback is appreciated! Please write to bookoflifepodcast@gmail.com!

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23. A Blogging Break

I’m taking a blogging break in order to celebrate the Holiday of Passover.  Therefore, please accept my best wishes for a happy holiday if you’re celebrating one in the next week: Chag Sameach!  Happy Pesach! Posted in holiday, Passover Tagged: Easter

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24. Moses Is Departing Egypt, A Facebook Haggadah


The Passover spoof
Moses Is Departing Egypt: A Facebook Haggadah swept the Internet this spring. In this episode of The Book of Life we interview its creator, Carl Elkin, about the Haggadah and about another Facebook project dear to his heart, Yes We Conserve.


I'd like to dedicate this episode to the memory of my father-in-law, Stanley Estrin (z"l). Today is his yahrzeit, plus I know he would have gotten a big kick out of Facebook.


Click the play button on our traditional flash player to listen to the podcast now:

Or click MP3 File to start your computer's media player.

If you'd like to place this audio interview on your own web site, please use this stand-alone player from Entertonement. Click the embed button and copy the code!


Our background music is provided by The Freilachmakers Klezmer String Band.

Books and CD's mentioned on the show may be borrowed from the Feldman Children's Library at Congregation B'nai Israel. Browse our online catalog to reserve books, post a review, or just to look around!

Your feedback is appreciated! Please write to bookoflifepodcast@gmail.com!

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25. Holy Thursday and Passover as Told to Children

Today is a very holy day in both the Christian and Jewish faiths.

Christians celebrate Jesus' Last Supper--the meal he shared with his followers on the night before he died. The feast Jesus and his friends were celebrating was Passover.

Passover is a special time when the Jewish people remember how God helped them leave the slavery of Egypt. God convinced Pharaoh to release all the Jewish people after a terrible tenth plaque killed the first born sons of all the Egyptians. The Jewish first born were spared because God had instructed the Jews to mark their homes in a special way. The Angel of Death "passed over" all their houses and their first born were spared. The Jewish people share a special Passover meal each year to remember God's love for them.

During the Passover meal at The Last Supper, Jesus told his followers he would become their bread--broken and shared for them. In THE JESUS STORYBOOK BIBLE by Sally Lloyd-Jones; illustrated by Jago and published by Zonderkiz, the author retells this and many other Bible stories in beautiful poetic words. The Bible stories come alive with Jago's pastel portraits and scenes. What a wonderful way to celebrate this holy day--reading the Bible story.

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