DAYENU!

A PASSOVER HAGGADAH FOR FAMILIES AND CHILDREN

Early-childhood educator Leon makes the Passover story and Seder ceremony an enjoyable experience for preschool children and young families in this succinct retelling of the Jews’ flight for freedom from slavery. Clear explanations for each ceremonial food and ritual appear in a lively, color-coded text with dual Hebrew and transliterated equivalents, encouraging role-playing at the table; characters from the villainous Pharaoh, to the Prophet Elijah, Miriam and Moses, to all ten plagues are represented. Easy-to-learn, catchy, rhythmic songs that capture traditional Hebrew prayers combine with original English folksongs, further adding to the playfulness. It will also serve as a sound introduction to the holiday and its significance at school mock Seders. While it doesn’t approach the majesty of Eric A. Kimmel’s Wonders and Miracles (2004), its value in a preschool setting makes it a worthwhile investment. Regrettably, there is no written music, although a CD offering narration and musical presentations from the author and a children’s choir is available (for a price) with either edition (hardcover + CD $24.95, ISBN: 978-1-60280-042-7; paper + CD $16.95, ISBN: 978-1-60280-040-3). (Picture book/religion. 3-10)

Pub Date: Jan. 19, 2009

ISBN: 978-1-60280-041-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: KTAV

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2008

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THE NAME JAR

Unhei has just left her Korean homeland and come to America with her parents. As she rides the school bus toward her first day of school, she remembers the farewell at the airport in Korea and examines the treasured gift her grandmother gave her: a small red pouch containing a wooden block on which Unhei’s name is carved. Unhei is ashamed when the children on the bus find her name difficult to pronounce and ridicule it. Lesson learned, she declines to tell her name to anyone else and instead offers, “Um, I haven’t picked one yet. But I’ll let you know next week.” Her classmates write suggested names on slips of paper and place them in a jar. One student, Joey, takes a particular liking to Unhei and sees the beauty in her special stamp. When the day arrives for Unhei to announce her chosen name, she discovers how much Joey has helped. Choi (Earthquake, see below, etc.) draws from her own experience, interweaving several issues into this touching account and delicately addressing the challenges of assimilation. The paintings are done in creamy, earth-tone oils and augment the story nicely. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: July 10, 2001

ISBN: 0-375-80613-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2001

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RAIN SCHOOL

It takes a village to make a school. In Chad, big brothers and sisters lead the way for younger children on the first day of school. Little Thomas is full of questions. When he and the other children arrive, there are no classrooms and no desks. But the teacher's there, holding a trowel. "We will build our school," she declares. Everyone sets to work, making mud bricks that dry in the sun and a roof out of grass and saplings. Thomas loves his lessons; every day he learns something new. At the end of the school year, the minds of the students "are fat with knowledge." And just in time: The rainy season arrives and makes short work of the schoolhouse. Come September, they'll start all over. Rumford's illustrations make great use of color, dark brown skin and bright shirts, shorts and dresses against golden backgrounds, the hues applied in smudgy layers that infuse each scene with warmth—until the gray rains arrive. It's a nifty social-studies lesson tucked into a warm tale of community. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-0-547-24307-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin

Review Posted Online: Oct. 1, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2010

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