Reviews for Jodie's Passover Adventure

Horn Book Guide Reviews 2012 Fall
Aspiring archaeologist Jodie leads her cousin Zach through Hezekiah's Tunnel which Jodie purposefully explains was "built to keep the City of Jerusalem safe." The story covers new (subterranean) ground, but Zach's easily resolved anxiety provides the only conflict, and readers seeking a Passover story will find only incidental references to the holiday. The stiff illustrations competently reflect the text.

Kirkus Reviews 2012 January #2
A Passover family picnic is preceded by a quick exploration of and discovery beneath the ground in the Old City of Jerusalem. During the week of Passover, archeology enthusiast Jodie is eager to escort her visiting cousin Zach on a tour of the ancient Hezekiah's Tunnel, which is famous for its strategic water passages. Zach is initially reluctant, and he imagines terrors as he enters the deep, dark and wet tunnel. "Evidence" of dragons, monsters and dinosaurs is logically explained away by Jodie as mold, shadows and chisel marks left on the walls by the tunnel creators. With the help of a flashlight, the cousins solve the "riddle of the middle" pointed out by Jodie's father at the beginning of their tour. Opaque double-page illustrations move the story from outside the tunnel, where no clear entrance is indicated, through to a wall of markings, supposedly drawn from opposite directions, that show the original tunnel workings dug from two different points and meeting in the middle. Unlike predecessor Jodie's Hanukkah Dig (2008), which wove together themes of bravery and resilience, this story has nothing at all to do with the titular holiday. Ultimately, this attempt to show how archeology can provide answers to ancient history's mysteries disappoints. (Picture book. 5-8)
Copyright Kirkus 2012 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

Publishers Weekly Reviews 2012 February #3

Interweaving history and adventure, Levine (Running on Eggs) takes young readers on a Passover trip worth pursuing. When Jodie's cousin Zach visits for Passover, she and her siblings want to take him on a variety of trips to help him see all aspects of Israel. Jodie, in particular, is eager to lead him on an archeological dig through Hezekiah's Tunnel. With her new flashlight, a Passover gift, and some Passover food prepared, the two of them venture out to the dark, wet, and narrow underground passageway. Intrigued by Jodie's father's brainteaser to find "the riddle in the middle," the daring duo must confront their fears and the creepy tunnel to see their way to the end. Topaz's illustrations nicely portray the diversity of populations in the Holy Land, and Levine's plot takes kids to a place where the past and the present converge in exciting new ways. Ages 5-9. (Feb.)

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School Library Journal Reviews 2012 May

K-Gr 4--An Israeli girl aspires to be an archaeologist like her dad. Wishing to share her passion with her cousin Zach during his Passover visit, she takes him through King Hezekiah's Tunnel, a buried water passage built in ancient times to keep Jerusalem safe in case of attack. Equipped with a flashlight and matzah sandwiches, Jodie and Zack set off and solve a riddle, find an ancient coin, and have a successful outing. Many picture books about Israel offer a whirlwind tour of famous places, so this more in-depth look at a single site is welcome. The story showcases the excitement of digging up the past and Jerusalem's fascinating history. As in Jodie's Hanukkah Dig (Lerner, 2008), the holiday tie-in is weak and serves as an unnecessary hook; both stories are relevant year-round. The watercolor illustrations are pleasant if a bit static, but do not always reflect the text. In particular, the story describes the children as splashing through a very wet tunnel while the illustrations show them walking on a dry, smooth floor. Nitpicks aside, this upbeat story will appeal to young adventurers, history buffs, and armchair travelers.--Heidi Estrin, Feldman Children's Library, Congregation B'nai Israel, Boca Raton, FL

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