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Passover: Celebrating Now, Remembering Then Hardcover – March 3, 2010

4 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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The Battle of the Vegetables
The Battle of the Vegetables
Leeks who believe a cow is one of Santa’s reindeer, carrots who accept an invitation to a party given by rabbits, and a leek and carrot couple whose romance precipitates total vegetable warfare are the hapless protagonists in these satiric, snarky stories. Hardcover

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Many informative titles explain Passover to young children, but none actually follow the seder's order, as this beautifully rendered offering does. In a companion to Hanukkah Haiku (2008), Ziefert provides a simplified adaptation of Exodus, a description of holiday preparations, and a concise Haggadah, or service for this ritual meal. Throughout, Ziefert contrasts current practice (“Now . . . we eat a mixture of apples, nuts, raisins, and wine”) with ancient origins (“Then . . . Israelites were forced to make mortar and bricks for the Pharaoh's pyramids”). The seder portion of the text explains “Now” on the left side, surrounded by a decorative border similar to those used in traditional Haggadahs. The right side depicts the described symbol from a contemporary seder; lifting the flap explains “Then”—the item's historical origins. On every page, Gudeon's Chagall-like paintings exhibit a folkloric style. Deborah Heiligman's Celebrate Passover (2007) offers a more global perspective of this holiday, but this title is one that families with young children will appreciate and want to own. Preschool-Grade 3. --Kay Weisman

About the Author

Harriet Ziefert lives in South Orange, New Jersey, and alternates between New Jersey and Massachusetts for holiday celebrations.

Karla Gudeon's artwork is displayed in galleries and distinguished collections throughout the United States and abroad. She lives in New York with her family and specializes in the making of one-of-a-kind Jewish wedding ketubahs.

Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Hardcover: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Blue Apple Books; 1st edition (March 3, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1609050207
  • ISBN-13: 978-1609050207
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 0.5 x 10.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,330,240 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Harriet Ziefert was born in New Jersey. She grew up in North Bergen, New Jersey, where she attended the local schools. She graduated from Smith College, then received a Masters degree in Education from New York University. "About twelve years ago," says Ziefert in a 1995 interview, "I tried to get a job as an editor, but no one would hire me as a trade editor. So I decided to write my own books." Since then, she has written several hundred books, mostly picture books and easy-to-read books. "I write books very quickly," she says, "in about twelve hours. I rewrite them three times over three days, and then they're done." She writes about twenty books a year. Ziefert's picture book A New Coat for Anna is about a girl in a bombed-out European city during the months just after World War II. Anna has outgrown her old coat, and her mother trades her few surviving treasures--a watch, a lamp, a necklace, and a porcelain teapot--in order to obtain wool and have it spun, woven, and finally sewn into a fine red coat for Anna. A Horn Book Magazine reviewer stated, "the simple text, based on a true story, carries the narrative along effectively." The book, which was illustrated by Anita Lobel, was chosen as one of ten books to be read aloud by former First Lady Barbara Bush as part of a program promoting reading. Ziefert was invited to the White House for the occasion. The reason Ziefert began writing easy-to-read books was that she felt "they were getting too hard for kids to read in the first grade." She says that she wrote easy-to-read books with seventy-five or fewer words, even ones with fifty or fewer words, "to see how much of a story" she could produce with that limit. She enjoyed the challenge, and cites her book Sleepy Dog as an example. "Sleepy Dog is the most successful book I've ever done, in terms of number of books sold." She's also been working on a developmental program with publisher Dorling Kindersley, made up of books for babies, toddlers, and preschoolers. Her book Pete's Chicken, which was illustrated by Laura Rader, was reviewed in the New York Times Book Review as "a simple, sweet 'Song of Myself' for children . . . [which] applauds the specialness of every child as it reminds parents of the healing power of just being there for children." Among her other books is a series of easy-to-read books, such as Trip Day and Worm Day, about an inventive science teacher and his rambunctious class of students. Ziefert's book Let's Get a Pet was named an Outstanding Science Trade Book for Children by a joint committee of the National Science Teachers Association and the Children's Book Council. . Ms. Ziefert lives in Maplewood, New Jersey and Lincoln, Massachusetts. She has two adult sons.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Most Passover books focus on either the Exodus from Egypt or the seder ritual. This book attempts to do both. The format of the book follows its subtitle, "Celebrating Now, Remembering Then." The main pages of the book explain how Passover is celebrated, while fold-out pages tell the corresponding parts of the Exodus story. Large-print sentences give simple summaries appropriate for young children. The small print continues in more detail and uses the high-level vocabulary of standard haggadah translations. The text covers a lot of ground quickly, and seems intended not as an introduction but rather as a refresher for readers already familiar with Passover. The beautiful artwork is really what makes the book, and much is conveyed visually. Page borders of vines, flowers, and pomegranates display the traditional Jewish art style of ketubahs and illuminated manuscripts. The large fold-out illustrations depict the landscape of the ancient middle east. The violent parts of the story are portrayed graphically yet tastefully, gently nudging young readers to acknowledge the brutality of slavery and the miracle of redemption. Upon seeing these pictures, my six-year-old, who has read dozens of Passover stories, was struck for the first time that children were also slaves. My three-year-old found the burning bush visually arresting. (He also considered the fold-out pages to be lift-the-flaps, which helped the book hold his interest.) The upper age range of the book depends upon the reader's interest in art. I would generally recommend the book for ages four to eight, but I know that at least some of my fifth grade students would happily peruse these paintings, and I bought the book knowing that whether or not it was a hit with my kids, I would enjoy it myself.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Love this book and how it relates back to the first Passover in Egypt. And then compares then to present day and explains the signficance of the items on the Seder Plate. Love it! Great family book to read at Passover - fabulous for families with kids.
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Format: Hardcover
For the littlest kids who are just learning about Passover, this is the book. I have recently gone through a large stack of Passover resources, and my kids (ages three through eight yrs) liked this one the most. It is so nice because each page has a fold out explaining just one aspect of the seder (i.e. the kiddush cup). My kids had all heard these terms before, but got their questions answered about each little thing. THis is definitely the way young children think, and they will benefit from the format of this book. The pages are friendly, the illustrations are beautiful, and it ties what we do now with what happened then throughout the book, one by one.

The only thing i would suggest is that you get a good kids version of the Passover/Exodus story. I think this book is best for helping kids understand the connection between what happened and the celebration we conduct. But a good retelling of the whole story at once is probably also needed too. (My kids already knew the stories well from Bible study).
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Format: Hardcover
Beautiful book. Wonderful connection from today to the past..bringing the holiday in to perspective.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I was very disappointed in this book. I thought that it was for older children. THIS BOOK IS GOOD FOR TWO YEAR OLDS. They should have said something in the ads.
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