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THE MATZAH MAN by Naomi Howland


A Passover Story

by Naomi Howland & illustrated by Naomi Howland

Age Range: 3 - 7

Pub Date: March 18th, 2002
ISBN: 0-618-11750-4
Publisher: Clarion

The gingerbread boy has appeared as a baby, a man, a pancake, and a Russian bun. Now, before Passover, he pops out of the oven as “the Matzah Man.” Chased by the baker, a red hen, Cousin Tillie, Auntie Bertha, Grandpapa Solly, Miss Axelrod, and a gray goat, he finds himself at the house of young Mendel Fox. The table is set for the Seder, and Mendel hides Matzah Man under his special cover, where he meets his orderly and observant end as part of the Seder service. In another twist on an old tale—The Magic Porridge Pot—Howland previously wrote and illustrated Latkes, Latkes, Good to Eat: A Chanukah Story (1999). Her gouache, cut-paper collage and colored-pencil illustrations are playful and mildly amusing and give the setting a retro feel. The refrain “ka-naidle, ka-noodle, ka-noo- / I’ll run away from you, too!” is a clever variant and fun to say aloud. Including a goat in the chase is a whimsical reference to the Seder song Had Gadya. Those in search of a light-hearted Passover story will find this enjoyable. Includes a glossary of holiday terms. (Picture book. 3-7)