A fresh take on an often told but very funny story, and the shoe is a clever addition. But give the mother a name already!...

READ REVIEW

OY VEY!

LIFE IN A SHOE

Driven nearly meshugga from trying to live in a shoe with 13 kids, Lou Greenbaum begs the rabbi for help.

The multistory boot and the rabbi’s house, constructed of stacked-up books, add a folkloric air to this retelling of an old tale probably best known from Margo Zemach’s classic It Could Always Be Worse (there is no source note). Adding some postmodern visual zest, Mottram dresses his figures in hoodies, onesies, and like modern garb. Weary of his own kvetching at the crowded conditions, Lou consults with the rabbi—and at his suggestion brings home two chickens, three goats, and a pair of geese in succession. Oy vey indeed: “My nerves are shot and the shoe is stinking. / Rabbi or not, what were you thinking?” Finally the rabbi instructs Lou to let the livestock out, and though that doesn’t exactly bring domestic peace and quiet, even despite “a snoring wife; / with love in the shoe it’s a bustling life!” Adding to that cheap shot, Mrs. Greenbaum is the only member of the uniformly light-skinned clan who doesn’t rate a first name. At least she’s not old, nursery rhyme notwithstanding. Also, unlike her husband, she’s generally calm and smiling amid the ruckus, and her strawberry-blonde bob cut accounts for the children’s wide range of hair colors.

A fresh take on an often told but very funny story, and the shoe is a clever addition. But give the mother a name already! (Picture book/folk tale. 5-9)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-68115-515-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Apples & Honey Press

Review Posted Online: June 1, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2016

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A sweet Pesach indeed.

A PLACE FOR ELIJAH

Everyone is welcome at the Seder table, but will there be a seat for the Prophet Elijah?

Sarah and her family joyously prepare for Passover's first Seder. They set the table with an extra place and seat for Elijah, and the door is left open so he can come in. They begin the Seder with a special prayer for their neighbors across the street, whose shops and apartments are without power on this unseasonably cold and rainy night. Music Man Miguel, Doughnut Dan, Bagel Ben, Mrs. Faaiz the florist, and the young boy who sells magazines are all in the dark. One by one these neighbors are drawn to the light and warmth of Sarah’s home. As each one is welcomed and provided with a seat at the table and with wonderful, savory food, Sarah sets another place for Elijah. The final visitor is the young boy who is given the only remaining chair. Sarah is really worried until she asks the boy his name. “You never know how Elijah comes, only that he does.” Ruben seamlessly weaves information about Passover and its traditions into a tale of a loving family with open hearts that fully embrace the spirit of this ancient holiday. Though a bit stiff, Friar’s carefully detailed illustrations, set in blues and yellows, beautifully complement the events.

A sweet Pesach indeed. (afterword) (Picture book. 5-9)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4677-7841-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Kar-Ben

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2016

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A mildly stimulating and challenging exploration of the holiday.

ABC PASSOVER HUNT

An alphabet book employs a series of riddles and puzzles to engage children in the recognition of the various aspects of the Passover holiday.

An initial search to find all the letters in a double-page illustration features a typical table set for the Seder meal. This is followed by 24 rhymed questions posed in alphabetical order that present a variety of customs, symbols, characters, and concepts of the holiday. For example, the letter B is represented by “Baby Moses,” and readers are asked to choose the correct boat used to float the baby on the Nile. Children are offered a multiple-choice assortment of picture clues that are drawn in a clear, simple cartoon style. In the case of Moses, the vessels include a leaf, a cardboard box, a woven basket, an inner tube, a rowboat, and a rubber ducky. Some of the inquiries are straightforward or obvious for the holiday, while others, such as the page that addresses slavery, require some thinking and possible discussion. A variety of methods are also used to achieve the answers, such as solving a maze and reading a map. Others may require actual knowledge of the subject posed, such as the one on the 15th of Nisan, the Hebrew day and month that Passover begins. Together these short games can be used as an impetus to discuss the holiday's story and significance or to retell its various aspects.

A mildly stimulating and challenging exploration of the holiday. (author’s note, answer key) (Picture book/religion. 5-8)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4677-7843-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Kar-Ben

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2016

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more