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The Passover Cowboy Hardcover – February 15, 2017
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Russian Jews settle in Argentina, a little-known but timely fact. In Argentina, two pale-skinned boys are racing their horses. Benito, born in the country, is comfortably attired, while Jacob is still dressed in the too-tight clothing of the old country. It is just before the Jewish festival of Passover, and Jacob invites his new friend to the Seder, but Benito turns him down. Jacob returns home thinking about their lives in Russia, with houses so close by that neighbors visited frequently. At his house, his mother and sister are busy with the many delicious food preparations. Still, Jacob wishes Benito would come opening the door for the prophet Elijah and other guests is part of the celebration. He is happy, though, to receive a very special gift from his mother: Argentinian clothing perfect for riding horses. When the door is opened, however, chaos follows as messy chickens invade their kitchen. Benito arrives just in time to help save the dinner and present his friend with a much-needed present, a lasso. Goldin's story is a warm-spirited tale of an immigrant family. An author's note explains the work of Baron Maurice de Hirsch, who sponsored Russian Jewish immigration to Argentina in the late 19th century. Capaldi's watercolor illustrations fill the pages with action and personality. A Seder and cowboy clothes are beautifully woven together. (Picture book. 4-7) --Kirkus Reviews
A perfect Passover story of freedom, with pictures that realistically set it in a century-ago Argentina. --Jane Yolen, author of The Devil's Arithmetic, The Stone Angel, and O Jerusalem
Jacob and his family have relocated from Russia to Argentina. But life here is an adjustment: "He thought of how he missed his friends in Russia. How they would run in and out of each other's houses, one house right next to the other. It was very different here where everything was so far apart." At Passover, he invites his new friend Benito to his Seder and hopes he will attend, but isn't sure if he will. During the dinner, Benito arrives: "I wanted to see what this celebration of freedom was all about," said Benito. "You know, we struggled for our freedom, too, here in Argentina." Finely appointed, lush watercolor illustrations of the characters and Argentine landscape give vibrancy to this well-paced story of tradition, family and friendship punctuated with humor and warmth. --The Washington Post
About the Author
Barbara Diamond Goldin received the Sydney Taylor Body-of-Work Award from the Association of Jewish Libraries. She has written many distinguished books on Jewish themes, including The Best Hanukkah Ever, The World s Birthday: A Rosh Hashanah Story, and Cakes and Miracles: A Purim Tale. A former preschool teacher, language arts teacher, and writing instructor, Barbara is currently director of a public library and lives in western Massachusetts.
Gina Capaldi is the illustrator of more than fifty books for children, many of them historically based. Her work is meticulously researched, detailed, and vibrant, and her books have been included on the recommended reading list from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Gina lives in Southern California.
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