Russian Jews settle in Argentina—a little-known but timely fact.
In Argentina, two pale-skinned boys are racing their horses. Benito, born in the country, is comfortably attired, while Jacob is still dressed in the too-tight clothing of the old country. It is just before the Jewish festival of Passover, and Jacob invites his new friend to the Seder, but Benito turns him down. Jacob returns home thinking about their lives in Russia, with houses so close by that neighbors visited frequently. At his house, his mother and sister are busy with the many delicious food preparations. Still, Jacob wishes Benito would come—opening the door for the prophet Elijah and other guests is part of the celebration. He is happy, though, to receive a very special gift from his mother: Argentinian clothing perfect for riding horses. When the door is opened, however, chaos follows as messy chickens invade their kitchen. Benito arrives just in time to help save the dinner and present his friend with a much-needed present, a lasso. Goldin’s story is a warm-spirited tale of an immigrant family. An author’s note explains the work of Baron Maurice de Hirsch, who sponsored Russian Jewish immigration to Argentina in the late 19th century. Capaldi’s watercolor illustrations fill the pages with action and personality.
A Seder and cowboy clothes are beautifully woven together. (Picture book. 4-7)