Sarah's Passover

illus. by Constanza Basaluzzo. 24p. (Cloverleaf Books: Holidays and Special Days Series). further reading. glossary. index. Web sites. CIP. Millbrook. 2012. PLB $23.93. ISBN 978-0-7613-5081-1; pap. $6.95. ISBN 978-0-7613-8582-0; ebook $17.95. ISBN 978-0-7613-8837-1. LC 2011028789.
K-Gr 2—This oversimplified mix of fiction and nonfiction fails on both fronts. Fictional Sarah speaks directly to readers to explain Passover, plodding through a dull chronology of customs with no story line. Fact boxes appear on each page to provide additional information. The back matter includes a weak craft suggestion, a glossary that defines a word that's not even in the text (synagogue), and an odd choice of titles on the further-reading list. The text is accurate enough, but there is too little detail to serve as an introduction to the holiday, and those already in the know will find it boring. The bright, cartoon-style illustrations are the most attractive aspect of the book. Perhaps Jewish early readers will enjoy having information at their own level, but the book doesn't succeed as a teaching tool or as a story.—Heidi Estrin, Feldman Children's Library at Congregation B'nai Israel, Boca Raton, FL
Emma's story reflects her family's African American and Russian American heritage (no mention that Russian Orthodox Easter usually falls on a different date than other Christian sects). Rashad and his Muslim family observe Ramadan. Sarah prepares for her role in asking the "Four Questions." Bright, cheerful illustrations will draw readers to these simple introductions; text boxes provide more details than the young narrators do. Reading list, websites. Glos., ind. Review covers these Cloverleaf Books: Holidays and Special Days titles: Emma's Easter, Rashad's Ramadan and Eid al-Fitr, and Sarah's Passover.

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