A Tale of Two Seders

Mindy Avra Port­noy; Vale­rio Cis, illus.
  • Review
By – October 10, 2011
A touch­ing­ly authen­tic pic­ture-book look at a girl’s expe­ri­ence cel­e­brat­ing Passover after her par­ents divorce. Nar­rat­ed in first­per­son, the girl explains why it’s lucky that Passover (unlike Thanks­giv­ing) is cel­e­brat­ed over two nights, one seder with Mom, one seder with Dad, and not hav­ing to choose. Attend­ing six seders over three years, each cel­e­bra­tion gen­tly reveals some­thing about the process and progress of a fam­i­ly in tran­si­tion, from new faces at the seder table, to new recipes for charoset. Still there is the com­fort of famil­iar rit­u­als through­out like recit­ing the Four Ques­tions, look­ing for the Afikomen and singing Dayenu. Col­or­ful acrylic illus­tra­tions are filled with inter­est­ing angles and tex­tures, yet the round-faced char­ac­ters are friend­ly and appeal­ing. With a sim­ple real­is­tic tone and hon­est emo­tions, this is a book that man­ages to express a child’s long­ing for her orig­i­nal fam­i­ly with­out sen­ti­men­tal­iz­ing, and uses the many types of charoset as a metaphor for the many types of fam­i­lies, includ­ing those that don’t stick togeth­er, but are tasty in their own way. Grades K – 2.
Teri Mark­son has been a children’s librar­i­an for over 18 years. She is cur­rent­ly the act­ing senior librar­i­an at the Val­ley Plaza Branch Library in North Hol­ly­wood, CA.

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