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HAD GADYA by Seymour Chwast


A Passover Song

adapted by Seymour Chwast & illustrated by Seymour Chwast

Age Range: 3 - 7

Pub Date: March 1st, 2005
ISBN: 1-59643-033-8
Publisher: Roaring Brook

“Had Gadya” or “One Little Goat” traditionally brings the annual Passover Seder to a close as families jubilantly sing each portion over and over again. Unlike the classic 1979 Marilyn Hirsh school-play version, Chwast illustrates the characters of the goat, cat, dog, stick, fire, water, ox, butcher, angel of death and God with an Eastern European folktale flavor, but almost ignores the cumulative repetition other than the traditional last line of “Had gadya,” thus curtailing the fun of the lively vocal participation. He displays each addition at the top of the page, while scenes of a village life with holiday preparations are below in bright-colored acrylic, though unappealingly clotted, folk-art paintings. Backmatter includes the musical score and the original Aramaic version with suggestions for dramatic acting, as well as a good explanation by Rabbi Michael Strassfeld on the history and symbolic meaning of the song. (Picture book. 3-7)