Thank you to member Andi Davidson for compiling this list of holiday titles.
New for Purim
Cakes and Miracles, a beloved Purim story by Barbara Diamond Goldin, has been republished with engaging new illustrations by Jaime Zollars (Marshall Cavendish, 2010) The slightly shorter text tells the comforting story of a blind boy whose artistic vision inspires him to create fanciful Purim cookies that his mother sells in the village marketplace. As Hershel uses his ability to visualize the cookies in his mind to overcome his disability, he wins the gratitude of his mother, the admiration of their neighbors, and the possibility of a productive future. For Kdg. – Gr. 3.
Problems in Purimville: A Purim Story by Karen Fisman, illustrated by Wendy Faust (JoRa Books, 2010) is a fanciful story in which two brave children find themselves in Purimville, where gremlins are making trouble, ruining hamentaschen, and spoiling Purimspiel costumes. With the help of the hamentaschen, they scare the gremlins away and save the holiday. This charming story combines mystery, fantasy, and adventure with colorful illustrations that will entice young readers. For Kdg. – Gr. 3.
The Story of Esther: A Purim Tale, written by Eric A. Kimmel and illustrated by Jill Weber (Holiday House, 2011) is told in a storyteller’s style, with rich vocabulary and rising suspense. It parallels the biblical story, with beauty pageants, murder plots, political jockeying, feasts, secrets, and the vanquishing of evil-doers all leading to a glorious victory over tyranny. The delightful illustrations suggest humor and foreshadow the happy ending, brought about by courage and Jewish moral fiber. For grades 1-3.
New for Passover
Are children coming to your Seder? Delight them with these new books:
Try a little Afikoman Mambo by Rabbi Joe Black, illustrated by Linda Prater (Kar-Ben/Lerner, 2011). A catchy rhyming text in this upbeat picture book is complemented by watercolor illustrations of cheerful, multiracial children enjoying their large family’s Seder. The rollicking story and sing-along CD will liven up Seders for all ages. It would also make a great gift for the afikoman-finders! For preschool – Kdg.
In Hoppy Passover by Linda Glaser, illustrated by Daniel Howarth (Whitman, 2011) charming bunnies Violet and Simon introduce the concepts of the holiday as they prepare to celebrate Passover with their family. The sweet story and the cozy paintings showing a loving family sharing their holiday traditions are just right for young children who may be learning about Passover for the first time. For preschool – Kdg.
For Cooks of All Ages
Let My People Eat! Passover Seders Made Simple by Zell Schulman (Wiley, 1998), The New York Times Passover Cookbook (William Morrow Cookbooks, 1999), and Passover by Design: Picture-perfect Kosher by Design Recipes by Susie Fishbein (Mesorah, 2008) are just a few of the many collections of scrumptious recipes for Passover.
Kids will enjoy Matzah Meals: A Passover Cookbook for Kids by Judy Tabs and Barbara Steinberg, illustrated by Bill Hauser (Kar-Ben/Lerner, 2004), a collection of recipes that range from the no-cooking variety for young children to more complicated ones for teens. The Kids’ Catalog of Passover: A Worldwide Celebration of Stories, Songs, Customs, Crafts, Food, and Fun by Barbara Rush and Cherie Karo Schwartz (Jewish Publication Society, 2000) is filled with fun activities to help make Passover a joyous occasion for all ages.
Visit local synagogue and community libraries to sample the vast variety of books about Passover for adults and for children.