My First Passover Board Book

Clare Lis­ter, ed.
  • Review
By – November 11, 2011

This a stur­dy board book illus­trat­ed with col­or­ful pho­tos. It con­tains a lot of text, and some of the vocab­u­lary words, such as sac­ri­fice” and slav­ery,” are too dif­fi­cult for the babies and tod­dlers who are the usu­al board book audi­ence. The main prob­lem with this for­mat is that much of the infor­ma­tion here would be bet­ter suit­ed for a kinder­garten-age child, who would be unlike­ly to find a board book appeal­ing. The back cov­er says besides help­ing chil­dren devel­op their vocab­u­lary, this will help them devel­op their ear­ly read­ing skills,” which is not the usu­al pur­pose of a board book. The col­or pho­tos of chil­dren show a boy dressed as Pharaoh and a girl who is sup­posed to be Moses’ moth­er plac­ing a doll rep­re­sent­ing Moses in water, as well as chil­dren dressed as sol­diers and slaves. Each plague is pic­tured in col­or, and they are word­ed in lan­guage young chil­dren can under­stand, such as sick cows” for plague five and scary dark­ness” for plague nine. Pic­tures of items show­ing Passover col­ors,” such as brown nuts,” blue yarmulke,” and white can­dle” seem meant for very young chil­dren, while the lan­guage and musi­cal nota­tion teach­ing the four ques­tions, the mean­ing and ori­gin of the Passover hol­i­day, as well as pic­tures and descrip­tion of the foods eat­en on Passover and those on the Seder plate, seem to be writ­ten for old­er children. 

The edi­tors have tried to incor­po­rate too much into this board book, mak­ing it unsuit­able for its intend­ed audi­ence. Board books What I Like about Passover by Var­da Livney (Lit­tle, Simon, 2002) and Tomie dePaola’s My First Passover (Put­nam, 1991) are some bet­ter choic­es for intro­duc­ing Passover to very young children. 

Ages preschool and younger. 

Andrea David­son is the librar­i­an of The Tem­ple-Tifer­eth Israel in Beach­wood, Ohio. She holds an M.L.S. from the Uni­ver­si­ty of Michi­gan and is a for­mer mem­ber of the Syd­ney Tay­lor Book Awards Com­mit­tee. She enjoys try­ing out the books she reviews on the kids at the Tem­ple and on her grandchildren.

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