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The Littlest Levine (Passover) Paperback – January 1, 2014
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From School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 1—This warm story depicts a sweet intergenerational relationship in a modern Jewish family. Hannah Levine is too little to reach the sink or tie her own shoes, and she resents her lack of independence. "I hate being the littlest" is her refrain, but Grandpa reassures her that her day is coming. Around Purim, they start studying together, and by Passover, Hannah is ready to do the important job of asking the Four Questions at the seder, a job traditionally given to the youngest child. The watercolor illustrations are simple, bright, and accessible. The only disappointing factor is how little attention is paid to the Four Questions themselves. Hannah recites the beginning of the first question only. Readers learn nothing of the other questions or their answers. A brief note about Passover is included at the end of the book, but it provides no detail about the Four Questions, either. While the story's theme is universal, familiarity with the holiday and its customs is assumed, making this book most appropriate for Jewish collections.—Heidi Estrin, Congregation B'nai Israel, Boca Raton, FL --This text refers to the Library Binding edition.
"Hannah hates the feeling of dependency that comes from being the smallest and youngest member of her family: she can't decorate the sukkah, light the Hanukkah candles, or even put the Purim hamentashen in the oven without help from an adult. But Grandpa knows that there's one part of the seder that no one else can do ('Don't worry,' he tells her. 'Soon you'll be glad to be the littlest Levine'). With nightly tutoring, which becomes a beloved ritual for Hannah, Grandpa makes sure that his granddaughter shines when it comes to the most important job for the youngest seder participant: singing the Four Questions. Sunny cartooning from Keay (I Love You All Year Long) and Lanton's (Lots of Latkes) light narrative touch make this story of diligence, identity (both familial and religious), and intergenerational love stand out. Ages 3-8. Illustrator’s agent: Advocate Art. (Feb.)" -- Publisher's Weekly(Journal)
"For little Hannah, being the youngest in the family is a vexing issue―until it is time for the Passover Seder, and one special honor is given only to her.
Hannah continually laments that she is too small to reach the sink, join brother and sister on the school bus, and even light Hanukkah candles by herself. Grandpa tells her to be patient, as soon her holiday will come. Together, they spend many evenings after dinner in the study, learning something special that will be revealed to the whole family at the upcoming Seder. On the first night of Passover, Hannah takes much pride in reciting the traditional four questions as required by the youngest family member, finally delighted to be the littlest Levine. Generic watercolor drawings in pale spring hues place this intergenerational, observant family in a middle-class, suburban setting. The well-developed storyline provides enough intrigue to engage the littlest listeners and culminates pleasingly.
This should be inspirational to little tykes who are expected to carry on with the tradition and need to understand their larger role in the Seder ceremony. (author’s note) (Picture book. 3-6)" -- Kirkus Reviews
"Hannah doesn't like being the youngest in her family. She is too short to hang fruit in the sukkah, too young to light the Hanukkah candles by herself, she can't reach the sink, and she can't tie her own shoes. Hannah doesn't go to school yet, but Grandpa saves the day when he teaches her that being the youngest is something to be proud of. As Hannah and her family prepare for Passover, Hannah secretly prepares for something else with the help of her grandpa. This is a wonderful story about the importance of being the youngest in the family during the holiday of Passover. The Littlest Levine not only shows the importance of family and traditions but the gift of helping each other out. The bright, colorful painted illustrations are simple yet whimsical and will appeal to young readers. The author includes a brief description of Passover at the back of the book." -- AJL Reviews(Magazine)
Top customer reviews
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I bought as a gift for a friend who is going to be a savta (grandma in Hebrew) soon. Her last name is Levine, so it is perfect!
Hannah's grandfather was there for her in the story while she was going through hard moments of not being able to do things other members of her family could. Her family members did allow her to do some things, just not the kind of things other members of her family could. He was also there to teach her something so she can have an important role in the family also; I liked how he created special time just for her to teach her, which probably made her feel special.
I love how Kar-Ben books usually explain the main topic of the book after the story is over; in this case it was Passover. The description included the purpose of the Passover holiday, what is done during the holiday, and what is eaten.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a free copy of this book from Kar-Ben Publishing. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
The book, though, transcends Passover or any Jewish holiday. It teaches kids that even though the littlest cannot do some things, there's always a special place for the littlest one. The book's illustrations complement the story perfectly. You can't go wrong with this book.
Young readers will enjoy this delightful family story about Jewish holidays and how they are celebrated. This colorfully illustrated story with simple sentences for easy reading shows the celebration of Passover.