In this picture book, a young detective solves the mystery of the missing afikomen at his seder.
On Passover, Sherlock Mendelson, a bespectacled White boy, explains how family and friends gather around the table, say prayers, eat traditional foods, and practice Jewish customs at a seder, “a feast where families learn how Jewish people were slaves in ancient Egypt, but escaped from a wicked king called Pharaoh.” Sherlock’s favorite part is the search for the afikomen, a “piece of matzoh that Grandpa Solomon would wrap in a special cloth” and “hide…for the children to find” for a prize. But when the cloth is found with “nothing inside it,” the searchers realize that “SOMEONE HAD STOLEN THE AFIKOMEN!” Sherlock hunts for the thief with his trusty hound assistant, Watson. The boy follows “a suspicious trail of matzoh crumbs,” compiles clues, dusts for fingerprints, and interrogates the seder attendees. After recounting the events of the evening, Sherlock shockingly discovers the culprit is “my trusted friend and ace assistant…WATSON!” Everyone applauds Sherlock’s sleuthing, and Grandpa doles out candy. Through the eyes of an enthusiastic protagonist, Klein’s story introduces readers to Passover in an approachable, thoughtful manner. Readers will enjoy Sherlock’s amusing antics and playful investigative work. The detective elements, which offer a nod to Sherlock Holmes, are skillfully incorporated, and the entertaining resolution will delight readers. Using saturated, warm tones, Taylor’s lively illustrations include engaging details, as when Watson lurks in the background.
A joyful and charming Passover tale with kid appeal.