2 Buzzworthy Picture Books About the Afikomen, In Time for Passover

Share these two picture books, which present two different interpretations of the same tradition, with young readers who are gearing up for Passover.

Image of the two book titles on a background of a Passover afikomenThe afikomen is a piece of matzah broken off during the Passover seder. These two picture books present different interpretations of the same tradition of hiding the afikomen. Share them with young readers gearing up for Passover.


Afikomen by Tziporah Cohen. illus. by Yaara Eshet. Groundwood. ISBN 9781773066066. 
K-Gr 3–This attractive wordless picture book depicts a large, diverse, multigenerational contemporary family celebrating the Passover Seder. Three children and their dog steal the afikomen (the middle piece of matzah) from the Seder leader, as is customary in some families. But when they crawl under the table to hide it, they are transported to the land of Egypt. They witness baby Moses being placed in a basket by his mother and sister, and they follow the basket down the Nile River. The children rescue the baby from a crocodile and make sure he reaches safety with Pharaoh’s daughter. They then travel back to their dining room and return the afikomen to the adults so that they can conclude the Seder. The author’s note provides further information. “When celebrating Passover, we are supposed to see ourselves as if we, not just our ancestors, were the ones to escape slavery in Egypt. It is this ‘time travel’ of sorts that gave me the idea of linking the generations, Moses’ and our own, through a piece of magical afikomen.” Multiple panels on each page tell the story through detailed, expressive illustrations. Children familiar with the story of Passover and the holiday customs will delight in decoding the pictures, looking for hidden clues, and retelling the tale. VERDICT A unique addition for synagogues, Jewish schools, and library holiday collections.

Afikomen is a 2024 Sydney Taylor Book Award - Picture Book Honor recipient.


 Afikoman, Where’d You Go?: A Passover Hide-and-Seek Adventure by Rebecca Gardyn Levington. illus. by Noa Kelner. Penguin/Rocky Pond. ISBN 9780593617786. 
K-Gr 3–This cheerful Passover picture book is Where’s Waldo? meets The Gingerbread Man. With loved ones gathered around the table, it’s time for the children to carry out the tradition of searching for the piece of matzah called the afikoman. But there’s a problem! He’s a sneaky little guy, and he has run away from the children! Kelner’s busy illustrations will keep kids happily engaged, searching for the afikoman on every spread. Children will find Levington’s singsong, rhyming text delightful: “Is he hiding somewhere high? Is he hiding somewhere low? Afikoman? Afikoman? Afikoman? WHERE’D YOU GO?” The storyline is simple but effective. The children search diligently for the afikoman, the afikoman continues to escape them and hide, the children find the afikoman. At the end, one character eats all the afikoman without sharing, which provides a talking point for parents in addition to all the fun. Characters’ skin tones are diverse, and a person who uses a wheelchair is included in the illustrations. A glossary helps with Hebrew words. VERDICT This fun book could become a Passover classic. A first purchase.

Afikoman, Where’d You Go? received a starred review in SLJ's March 2024 issue.

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