A Place for Elijah

Kel­ly Eas­t­on Ruben; Joanne Fri­ar, illus.
  • Review
By – April 18, 2016

The seat for Eli­jah at the Passover seder takes on new mean­ing as the seat saved for him keeps being filled by one guest after anoth­er. Addi­tion­al­ly, young chil­dren learn about the tra­di­tion­al Passover foods and what will hap­pen dur­ing the meal itself. 

We see the small­est child, Jacob, bring­ing in the matzah while his father is hold­ing the seder plate. Sara, his old­er sis­ter, brings a chair and sets a place for Eli­jah. It is a cold night with a strong wind and unex­pect­ed­ly all the lights of the stores across the street go out. But before they do the read­er is intro­duced to the own­ers of the stores. There is Miguel, the music man, Dough­nut Dan, Bagel Ben, the florist, and the boy who sells magazines.

As the seder pro­gress­es and there is no light or heat across the street, each of their neigh­bors knocks on the door and joins them at the seder. The table expands and the chairs increase and there is mirac­u­lous­ly enough food to feed every­one. Final­ly, there is only one more chair but a last knock from anoth­er neigh­bor is heard and one more vis­i­tor enters to join the fam­i­ly. What hap­pens next is delightful.

Pre­sent­ed with col­or­ful draw­ings, this charm­ing book not only edu­cates about Passover and retells the sto­ry, but also extends the les­son to car­ing for oth­ers in need.

Rec­om­mend­ed for ages 5 – 9.

Relat­ed Content:

Marge Kaplan is a retired Eng­lish as a Sec­ond Lan­guage teacher. She is a con­sul­tant for the children’s lit­er­a­ture group for the Roseville, MN school sys­tem and is a sto­ry­teller of Jew­ish tales.

Discussion Questions