Raquela’s Seder

Kar-Ben. Feb. 2022. 32p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781728424293; pap. $7.99. ISBN 9781728427966.
K-Gr 3–Raquela and her family must practice their Jewish faith in secret under the reign of King Ferdinand II and Queen Isabella of Spain. On Friday evenings, for instance, the family, all of whom have brown skin and dark hair, retreats to the privacy of their cellar to light candles and observe Shabbat. Raquela’s papa is an accomplished fisherman who describes the secret to his success to his daughter: one has to be smarter than a fish, and the best way to do that is to think like one. Raquela longs to share a Passover seder with her parents, which gives her papa an idea. After baking matzah and gathering the necessary supplies, the family sails out to papa’s secret fishing spot at sundown, where he explains the symbolism of the foods and the history of Passover. Stein’s text is both accessible and engaging for young readers, expertly weaving the distinct historical time periods together with simple, gentle language. Ugolotti’s colorful illustrations delicately capture the fear and optimism experienced by the Jewish people leaving Egypt for freedom during the first Passover, as well as Raquela and her family practicing their faith in secret, generations later. Back matter includes a historical note on the Spanish Inquisition and further information about Passover.
VERDICT Thoughtful and tender, this beautiful story of hope is a valuable addition to all collections.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing