Reviews for Longest Night : A Passover Story

Horn Book Guide Reviews 2013 Fall
A young Jewish slave describes the ten plagues and the Israelites' hurried flight from Egypt in impeccable rhyming couplets. Dark, expansive acrylic illustrations are well matched with the text (some, 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. Glos.

Kirkus Reviews 2012 December #2
A Jewish child living under Pharaoh's rule narrates the days marred by the devastation caused by the 10 plagues and the Jews' exodus from Egypt. Working as hard as any adult slave, this young girl expresses her bewilderment and fear as leaping frogs and itching, biting fleas disturb the masters. Fatal illness creeps in, affecting beast and man except in the Jewish homes marked with lamb's blood. Rhyming verse carries the Passover story with a lyrical flair. "Made our way to sifting sands, / Scrambling feet, but clasping hands. / Thirsting, thrilling, full of fright— / None of us were slaves that night." Ominously dark and murky paintings done in acrylic portray the frightened, fleeing throng finally reaching a wild, thrashing sea that is "ripped in two!" Confusion and trepidation turn to joyful surprise, as indicated by the rose-colored backdrop behind a smiling daughter and mother, thrilled to have crossed over to the open land and freedom. This poetic, child-oriented interpretation brings a dramatic insight and illumination to the ancient legend. A vivid and compelling introduction to the 10 plagues portion of the Seder ceremony. (author's note, glossary) (Picture book/religion. 5-7) Copyright Kirkus 2012 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

Publishers Weekly Reviews 2013 February #3

Evocative and beautiful, this rhyming rendition of a young Jewish slave girl's experience during the ten plagues and exodus from Egypt flawlessly evokes the spirit of that Old Testament story. As one of thousands of children forced into harsh labor by the pharaoh, this unnamed girl shares her bleak outlook on life, until suddenly and inexplicably, strange epidemics begin afflicting the Egyptians while miraculously leaving the Jews unscathed. "Itching, biting, awful fleas/ Brought our masters to their knees./ Strange to see them scratch and fuss,/ Hurt and helpless just like us." The poignant yet hopeful rhymes join with striking watercolor illustrations to produce a narrative that will captivate both children and adults. Ages 4-8. Author's agent: Tina Wexler, ICM. (Feb.)

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School Library Journal Reviews 2013 February

K-Gr 5--This picture book retells the biblical story of the 10 plagues and the Exodus from Egypt from the point of view of a Jewish slave child. Rhyming first-person couplets offer a you-are-there emotional vibe to readers already familiar with the basics of the story. Darkly atmospheric, folk-style acrylic paintings add gravitas and drama. An author's note explains the inspiration for the retelling, and a short glossary defines potentially unfamiliar words. The subtitle, "A Passover Story," and the Seder memories in the author's note, show that the book comes from a Jewish perspective; however, others interested in the Exodus will also find the book useful. While it does not provide enough context or detail to act as an introduction to the story of the Exodus, the emotional angle makes it a great supplement to other more straightforward tellings.--Heidi Estrin, Feldman Children's Library at Congregation B'nai Israel, Boca Raton, FL

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