A warm, cozy and loving depiction of shared culinary traditions around an inviting table.

CHIK CHAK SHABBAT

Neighbors join together to celebrate a holiday.

Saturday, the Jewish Sabbath, brings a wonderful aroma to an urban apartment house. All the neighbors stop their activities and happily sniff the air as one door opens and everyone enters to feast on cholent. And what makes this dish so delicious? An Italian neighbor says tomatoes. Barley, says the Korean neighbor. Potatoes, says the family from India. No, it is beans, says the Spanish family. Goldie, a contemporary hostess, explains that cholent is a dish that her grandmother served on Shabbat, and that is what makes it taste special. Then, one Saturday, there is no wafting aroma, because Goldie is sick. Things go awry until the neighbors troop up the stairs with Indian potato curry, Korean barley tea, Italian pizza, and Spanish beans and rice. Goldie is happy because she can share a Shabbat meal. A recipe for vegetarian cholent is appended, but it’s too bad there is no note about the origins of the dish, a slow-cooked stew prepared before Shabbat when lighting a fire is not permitted. Also, “chik chak,” Hebrew for “quickly,” can be inferred but is not translated. Brooker’s oil paint and collage art presents a richly textured assortment of folk and apartments.

A warm, cozy and loving depiction of shared culinary traditions around an inviting table. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-7636-5528-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: July 16, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2014

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In the end too much is left unanswered, making this book pleasant but only passable

PIPPA'S PASSOVER PLATE

A mouse searches for and finally finds her missing Seder plate.

Pippa is an industrious house-cleaning mouse. And no wonder—Passover is starting this very evening. Dusting and sweeping finished, she turns her attention to setting the table as a pot of chicken stew bubbles away on the stovetop. But there is one very important object that is missing: the “special Seder plate.” Frantically, the mouse searches through boxes and cupboards and finally ventures into the yard. First she encounters a very large cat and asks if it has seen the plate. “No,” answers the cat and points her to a snake, who sends her to an owl, who directs her to Golda Fish, prettily swimming in the water. Success! Kirkfield’s little tale is written in rhyming couplets with much repetition of “QUIVER! QUAVER! SHIVER! SHAKE!” for emphasis with each interaction with a predator, so readers will be mightily puzzled when the formerly frightful critters join Pippa at the holiday table. Weber’s gouache, crayon, and collage illustrations are sweetly pretty. The final illustration features a Seder plate with transliterated Hebrew and an English translation of the components. Readers familiar with the holiday may find this mildly enjoyable, but others will likely want and need more information.

In the end too much is left unanswered, making this book pleasant but only passable . (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: Feb. 12, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-8234-4162-4

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Holiday House

Review Posted Online: Nov. 12, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2019

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Fans of this popular series will find this a rewarding addition to family Easter celebrations.

GOD GAVE US EASTER

From the God Gave Us You series

Bergren and Bryant attempt to explain Easter to young children in a gentle, nonthreatening manner, with partial success.

When Little Cub questions her father about Easter, Papa Bear explains the religious significance of the holiday in various symbolic ways to his cub. He uses familiar things from their world, such as an egg and a fallen tree, to draw parallels with aspects of the Christian story. Papa Bear discusses his close relationships with Jesus and God, encouraging Little Cub to communicate with God on her own. The theme focuses on the renewal of life and the positive aspects of loving God and Jesus. Easter is presented as a celebration of eternal life, but the story skirts the issue of the crucifixion entirely. Some adults will find this an inadequate or even dishonest approach to the Easter story, but others will appreciate the calm and soothing text as a way to begin to understand a difficult subject. Bryant’s charming watercolor illustrations of the polar bear family, their cozy home and snowy forest scenes add to the overall mellow effect.

Fans of this popular series will find this a rewarding addition to family Easter celebrations. (Religion/picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Jan. 15, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-307-73072-5

Page Count: 40

Publisher: WaterBrook

Review Posted Online: Dec. 12, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2013

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