Reviews for Sweet Passover

Booklist Reviews 2012 February #2
Miriam loves celebrating Passover at Grandma and Grandpa's house. She enjoys the holiday rituals (asking the Four Questions, searching for the Afikomen), visiting with relatives, and the special foods, especially matzah, a cracker-like bread. But by the eighth day, Miriam can't bear to even think about eating matzah, until Grandpa makes a Passover version of French toast, matzah brei. Miriam expresses the feelings of many observant Jews at Passover, who find it difficult to abstain from leavened products for eight days. Miriam's meltdown, although tame by tantrum standards, is also well-handled. No one forces her to eat. Instead, they remind her of the festival's positive aspects. Slonim's Charles Schulz-like acrylic-and-charcoal illustrations portray this extended, conservative family with much good humor, especially considering everyone's living under one roof during the holiday. Infused with Yiddish phrases, a brief recounting of the Passover story, and appended with a recipe, note, and glossary, this is a welcome addition to the holiday. Copyright 2012 Booklist Reviews.

Horn Book Guide Reviews 2012 Fall
Miriam loves matzo--topped with everything from butter and cream cheese to cottage cheese and tuna salad--but by the end of that eight-day matzo-thon, Passover, she's "sick, sick, sick" of it. Grandpa brings her back into the fold with his special matzo brei (he calls it "Passover French toast"). Slonim's illustrations are warm and inviting. A kid-friendly recipe is included.

Kirkus Reviews 2012 February #1
A week of eating matzah has one little girl ready to swear off the bland, unleavened cracker for good, until a sweet, time-honored staple slowly changes her mind. Miriam observes Passover with parents, grandparents, aunt and uncle each consecutive day with different foods added to her matzah. She happily eats her unleavened bread with butter, jelly, tuna salad, egg salad, cream cheese, cottage cheese, almond and apple butter and jam. But after eating plain matzah, egg matzah, whole-wheat matzah and chocolate-covered matzah, Miriam awakens on the eighth day of the holiday completely "sick, sick, sick of matzah" and refuses to eat another bite. Perplexed and amused, Grandpa entices Miriam with the prospect of a breakfast of Passover French toast, otherwise known as matzah brei, a pancake-type creation from pieces of matzah soaked in egg and milk, pan-fried in butter and topped with sugar, cinnamon or maple syrup. Large amiable cartoon characters drawn in acrylic and charcoal portray a loving and cheerful family. They recount the Passover saga through Newman's dialogue-driven text, into which she subtly weaves some interpretive messages for today. "Matzah goes with everything," says Grandpa. "And that reminds us that we should get along with everyone, too." Convinced Miriam completes the holiday with the sweetened meal she cooked with her culinary savvy Grandpa. Deliciously traditional. (recipe, author's note) (Picture book/religion. 5-7) Copyright Kirkus 2012 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

Publishers Weekly Reviews 2012 February #3

In this colorful Passover story, Miriam spends the holiday at her grandma and grandpa's house. There, together with her parents and aunts and uncles, Miriam takes part in the Passover seder, complete with candle lighting, asking the Four Questions, and looking for the afikomen, the hidden matzo. Most of all, though, she savors the chance to eat matzo for eight days and nights. But when, after seven days of matzo with butter, matzo with jam, and nearly every other combination of matzo with something, Miriam feels sick and refuses any more of the unleavened bread. Grandpa must then use his special touch to salvage Miriam's love of matzo. Bright illustrations and a number of cute touches, like Miriam's matzo bedspread, her loyal dog who mimics her actions and feelings, and a recipe for Grandpa's matzo brei, round out an enjoyable holiday tale. Ages 4-8. (Mar.)

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