On his last run to Jerusalem before the Passover holiday, Engineer Ari manages to gather all the necessary items for his Seder plate, arriving home exhausted just before the holiday’s ceremonial dinner begins.
Ari is in a hurry, rushing to keep his train on schedule while trying to gather everything on his Seder shopping list. Luckily, his many friends along the way are more than willing to help. Neighbor Miriam will roast a fresh egg and leave it on his doorstep; Moshe, picking dates and almonds from his orchard, will make him some extra charoset; friend Shifra gives him a bunch of parsley from her abundant basket; Aaron shares his horseradish root by breaking it in half. Once the train arrives in the Old City, Ari quickly finishes his shopping with a shankbone from the butcher, as well as enough matzo from the factory to bring back as a thank-you to all his neighbors and friends. The action plays out on the now-familiar, earnest Israeli’s short train ride from Jaffa to Jerusalem in the late 19th century, while neatly folding in the key components of the annual weeklong spring celebration. Nostalgia, companionship and cooperation are emphasized in the simple text and winsome retro-style illustrations.
Children and adults will be charmed by the latest in this amiable series. (glossary, author’s note) (Picture book. 3-5)