Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Book Review: Passover

Passover: Celebrating Now, Remembering Then. Harriet Ziefert. Illustrated by Karla Gudeon. 2010. Blue Apple Books. 40 pages. [Library]

Last week I reviewed David Adler's new book, The Story of Passover. I was disappointed that the book failed to address the why. I decided to see what other books were available--for this age group--on Passover at my local library. Harriet Ziefert's Passover was one of my options.

I am quite impressed with Harriet Ziefert's book. The opening pages address the why!
Why is this night different from all other nights?
When we celebrate Passover, the youngest child asks the Four Questions:
Why on this night do we eat unleavened bread?
Why do we eat bitter herbs?
Why do we dip in salt water?
Why do we recline?
Why do we tell the Passover story year after year, time and time again? What do we remember?
The author then focuses in on thirteen things that "we remember" when Passover is celebrated.

But this book isn't just focused on the past, on sharing about the first Passover, on remembering the past, on carrying on the traditions of the past. This is a book about now as well. The contemporary section of the "now" shows a family getting ready to celebrate Passover. The text is much simpler; there are wonderful illustrations.
Now we set the seder table.
Now on the seder plate we place the symbols of Passover.
Beitzah -- roasted egg
Karpas -- parsley, celery, potato
Z'roa -- roasted lamb bone
Charoset -- chopped apples and nuts
Maror -- bitter herb: horseradish root
Chazeret -- bitter vegetable: lettuce
Now we begin by lighting the candles and saying the Kiddush for Passover.
The book takes readers slowly through the elements of the meal or gathering. It is an informative book. I definitely learned from it. And I enjoyed the learning process. I liked the focus on what it meant then, and what it means now. I would definitely recommend this one!

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

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