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.)[Page ]. Copyright 2012 PWxyz LLC
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[Page 77]. (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.