From School Library Journal
K-Gr 3-Doing farm chores on the morning of Passover, Miriam discovers that one of the sheep has had three babies. Snowball rejects the runt, and the child takes responsibility for bottle-feeding it every few hours. How can she take care of a lamb, though, and still attend the Seder at Grandma's? By putting him in a basket, naming him Moses, and taking him along, of course. This unusual Passover story is based on Marshall's own family history, as explained in an author's note. Basic information about Passover is included within the story and in the note. The emphasis is on the lamb's plight rather than on the holiday, and readers will be charmed by the gentle depiction of farm life, the baby animal, and the child's resourcefulness. Those who bring Passover knowledge to their reading will be amused that the siblings' names are Miriam and Aaron (the names of Moses's siblings in the Bible). Cheerful watercolors add to the story's sweetness.-Heidi Estrin, Congregation B'nai Israel, Boca Raton, FLα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
As Miriam completes her farm chores, she practices chanting the Four Questions in preparation for the Passover seder to be held later that night at her grandparents’ house. She notices that one of the family’s sheep, Snowball, has given birth to three lambs but is refusing to feed one of them. Miriam immediately steps in, feeding the lamb, cuddling it, naming it Moses, and eventually taking it along to the seder, nestled in a basket and dressed in a diaper. Marshall’s story is based on a real event that took place on her own farm; Mai-Wyss’ colorful illustrations depict a bucolic setting filled with genial animals and a rustic barn. Although there are few specifics about the holiday or its traditions, Marshall’s depiction of a close family gathering to celebrate, despite their many other obligations, is intrinsically appealing, and the details of sheep farming will intrigue young listeners. While Passover books for this age group are plentiful, libraries will want to make room for this poignant offering. Grades K-3. --Kay Weisman