Reviews for Passover Zoo Seder

Kirkus Reviews 2011 March #1
How can Passover be celebrated at the zoo when the only Haggadah is too worn to read? Shai Elephant, who is not shy, suggests an oral recitation based on memory, complete with assigned parts for each animal. Sheep bleats the traditional four questions—"Maaah Nishtanaaah"—and Horsey and Donkey whinny "all of Dah-yaynoo," while Lion approves with his "Ma-Roar!" Many a large family Seder can appear to be zoo-like in its atmosphere, with a large crowd of adults and children who often contribute to a din. Yet this hokey, banal parody fails to bring any charm or amusement to juvenile Passover literature. Fun is an appropriate part of a cheerful and joyous family Seder, but reading aloud this forced, unmetered rhyme with its complicated series of tongue-twisters and pun-oriented dialogue, as instructed by the author, is as tedious as a drawn-out adult ceremonial dinner. "Pharoah-proud Peacocks paraded, the abject slaves of new fashion. / Whitefish were Gefilte—snacks Loony Loons crave with passion. / Marvelous Marmoset Marvie murmured Mom's Hadleek Nair / She got too close to the candles, slightly singeing her hair." Crude pen-and-crayon drawings add to the painful absurdity of this telling.  (Picture book/religion. 5-8) Copyright Kirkus 2011 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

School Library Journal Reviews 2011 June

K-Gr 2--The animals at the Great Zoo want to have a seder to celebrate the Jewish holiday of Passover. Who will lead it? Why, the lion, of course, who keeps order with a "Ma-Roar!" If you do not get the play on words, then this book is not for you; it is written from an insider perspective and is not meant to educate readers, despite the inclusion of a somewhat tongue-in-cheek glossary. Forced rhymes, tongue-tying alliteration, overly long text, and shaky logic make the book a difficult read. Amateurish cartoon sketches in felt tip and crayon do nothing to enhance the story. A word search and crossword puzzle, both inappropriately difficult, are included at the end, encouraging defacement of the book. Libraries can pass on this title.--Heidi Estrin, Feldman Children's Library at Congregation B'nai Israel, Boca Raton, FL

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