Reviews for Matzah That Papa Brought Home

Horn Book Guide Reviews 1995
Using the cumulative verse form of ""The House That Jack Built,"" the text describes a family celebration of the Passover Seder, from the meal preparation through the last good-byes. The rich oil paintings add to the festive and ritualistic atmosphere of a very special night on the Jewish calendar. A clear explanation of what happens during the Seder and why is appended. Copyright 1998 Horn Book Guide Reviews

Publishers Weekly Reviews 1994 December #2
Bittinger's background as a portrait painter shines throughout the luminous holiday scenes in his picture book debut. One family's celebration of Passover gets off to a happy start as a bearded patriarch arrives home, laden with shopping bags, his three children clamoring to view the contents. From that opening, Manushkin constructs a ``House That Jack Built'' version of the celebration: ``This is the Passover Seder we shared/ to eat the feast that Mama made/ with the matzah that Papa brought home.'' Though her cumulative text deserves applause-the rhymes remain easy and unforced as all the familiar aspects of the ritual are enumerated-it's the people here, and the visual details, that tell the tale. Occasionally reminiscent of Ted Rand's work, Bittinger's character studies are gems: from the glowing face of the daughter clutching her Haggadah to the almost surreal evocation of the plagues of Egypt to the study of many hands grasping at the feast table's bounty, these are illustrations to savor. Ages 2-7. (Feb.) Copyright 1994 Cahners Business Information.

School Library Journal Reviews 1995 February
PreS-Gr 2?A charming rephrasing of the traditional cumulative song ``Had Gadya'' that captures all the excitement, magic, inspiration, high jinks, and eventual exhaustion of a family celebrating a Passover Seder. Here, instead of a goat, the poem revolves around the matzah that Papa brings home, which inspires the feast that Mama makes, the seder they all share, etc. While the text is well done and great fun, the illustrations, rendered in oils, are stellar. Each masterful painting has a subtext. The family members are constantly moving or gesturing?while some are intent on praying or singing, a girl is shushing the dog, and a boy is intent on stealing the matzah. During the recapitulation of the plagues, the artist depicts real frogs and locusts jumping out of the wine glasses. The search for the hidden afikomen is positively frenetic, and the picture of the youngest child standing tall and proud (and still) to ask the Four Questions has great impact. Three pages at the end tell the story of Passover. A unique, lively offering.?Marcia Posner, Federation of New York and the Jewish Book Council, New York City