Celebrate Passover is another book in National Geographic’s Holidays Around the World series, which also includes Hanukkah and Rosh Hashanah/Yom Kippur. The information in the book is simple and clear, written in succinct language. The use of white space, large fonts, and bright color photos is visually appealing to readers. This book is appropriate for any children’s library, allowing non-Jewish children to read about and understand Passover and the related Jewish customs. The book’s simple language also makes it an effective readaloud for younger children. The book begins with a clear explanation of the origins of Passover in Egypt. The text continues with sequential holiday preparation and symbols, from searching for chametz to setting the seder table. Photos of Passover preparations, traditions and celebrations from all over the world accompany each page. Many pages contain more than one photo, showing the same events being celebrated differently across the world. The book does an excellent job of introducing and explaining Passover to children who aren’t familiar with the holiday. It also expands on the knowledge of most American Jewish children, reinforcing their connection to Jews around the world. For ages 4 – 9.
Rachel Rosner is the Director of the Jewish Book Festival in Rochester, NY. She also runs Jewish Family Programs for the JCC, and has worked there since 1994. She holds a degree in Early Childhood Education from Syracuse University.