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Books for Passover

Posted by Susan on March 29, 2010 at 12:00 AM in RecommendationsSeasonal Books
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Tonight is the first night of Passover, and the perfect time for me to share some of my favorite Passover books with you. Of course, as mentioned a few weeks ago- they might be hard to find at your library today, but there's always next year.

A Tale of Two Seders.jpgI really enjoyed Rabbi Mindy Portnoy's new book, A Tale of Two Seders. It talks about how a child with divorced parents is able to celebrate in different and special ways with both of them. Plus, it also includes many different Passover traditions and some great charoset recipes from many different countries and cultures.

I always recommend the Sammy Spider books written by Sylvia Rouss and illustrated by Katherine Kahn for Jewish holidays. They're fun to read, creatively illustrated with great holiday descriptions and they always introduce a new concept such as colors, shapes or the five senses. There are three books for Passover: Sammy Spider's First Passover, Sammy Spider's Passover Fun Book and Sammy Spider's First Haggadah. I also like The Mouse in the Matzah Factory by Francine Medoff that explains how special handmade shmurah matzah is made.

For next year's Passover, Jaqueline Jules has a great new board book called Going on a Hametz Hunt due to be published in September. In simple, rhyming text it makes a fun counting story and Rick Brown's illustrations visually guide you to turn the next page.

Matzah that Papa Brought Home.jpgThere are several other books I'd like to recommend, but they all seem to have gone out of print, even those published in the last few years. Check your library (in a few weeks) for Passover! by Roni Schotter, This is Passover illustrated by Santiago Cohen, The Magician's Visit: A Passover Tale retold by Barbara Diamond Goldin and The Matzah that Papa Brought Home by Fran Manushkin.

Looking for a cookbook you can share with your kids? Try the Jewish Holidays Cookbook by Jill Colella Bloomfield and Matzah Meals: A Passover Cookbook for Kids by Judy Tabs and Barbara Steinberg.

There are many Haggadah options ranging from simple to complex. No matter which one you use, read it out loud to your children before the seder. This will help them prepare and know what to expect. If you're invited to someone else's house for Passover, ask if you can borrow their Haggadah to help get your kids ready.

Happy Pesach! Do you have any favorite Passover books? I'd love to hear them.


Jody writes...

Rabbi Portnoy has written lots of terrific books. I especially like Matzah Ball, about a kid who goes to a ball game during Passover. (Plus she was the rabbi who married my husband and me! :)

SusanAuthor Profile Page writes...

Oh, Matzah Ball is great too. One of the few books that talks about how it feels to keep kosher for Passover even though no one else is. I always feel hungry by the end.

Jessica Horwitz writes...

Wonderful post, Susan! Thanks for mentioning so many Kar-Ben books.

@Jody, small world! Rabbi Portnoy is a talented writer and rabbi!

SusanAuthor Profile Page writes...

Thanks, Jessica! I don't usually include so many titles from a single publisher, but it's pretty impossible to talk about Jewish children's books and not mention Kar-Ben. I totally agree, Rabbi Portnoy is a very talented writer. She explores new ground in a delightful way.

Mary Ann writes...

Thank you for these recommendations, especially for little ones.

I especially like Miriam's Cup, by Fran Manushkin. It's available in paperback, and is nice for kids in K-4th grades. For older kids, I love Eric Kimmel's Wonders and Miracles - a truly amazing resource.

SusanAuthor Profile Page writes...

You're very welcome! Miriam's Cup is a great book, with beautiful pictures. And, like you, I love Eric Kimmel's Wonders and Miracles. Even though it's a children's book, it also makes a lovely seder companion for adults.

Jacqueline Jules writes...

This blog includes some of my favorite Passover books, too. And thanks so much for mentioning my new board book, Going on a Hametz Hunt. It is actually available now on the Kar-Ben website at

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