Rab­bi Rock­et­pow­er and the Half-Baked Matzah Mys­tery: A Par­tic­u­lar­ly Pecu­liar Passover

Rab­bi Susan Abram­son; Ariel DiO­rio, illus.
  • Review
By – August 30, 2011
Why is this first night of Passover dif­fer­ent from all oth­ers? At Rab­bi Beat­rice A. Mensch’s house, the answer is out of this world! Look out, bad guys, Rab­bi Rock­et­pow­er is back. Rab­bi Rock­et­pow­er and the Half-baked Matzah Mys­tery, Rab­bi Susan Abramson’s third book in her series, is longer and even fun­nier than her first two. Abramson’s son Aaron com­ple­ments the illus­tra­tions (drawn by Ariel Dio­rio) with his com­ic-book style retelling of the Jew­ish exo­dus from Egypt, com­plete with an hys­ter­i­cal extend­ed ver­sion, the sto­ry of which most of us were total­ly unaware. 

As Rab­bi B. A. Men­sch and her fam­i­ly are busy prepar­ing for Passover, strange occur­rences keep pop­ping up to thwart their efforts. Matzah keeps dis­ap­pear­ing, then reap­pear­ing. Matzah balls roll away on their own, even the Rabbi’s Hag­gadah seems to have rewrit­ten itself. Instead of the Four Ques­tions, for exam­ple, there is one real­ly long word: Whydon’tyouforgetaboutthissederandgobacktoEgypt?” So before you can say, Faster than a speed­ing matzah ball,” Rab­bi Men­sch spins into Rab­bi Rock­et­pow­er and the chase is on. With chap­ter titles such as, Matzah Mat­ter With This Seder?” and The Matzah Goes Bal­lis­tic,” author Susan Abram­son will win you over with humor. 

The many tra­di­tions asso­ci­at­ed with the cel­e­bra­tion of Passover are woven into the excit­ing adven­tures-teach­ing young read­ers with­out them even know­ing it. As always, the book con­tains an excel­lent glos­sary, with all of the terms from the sto­ry clear­ly defined, and sev­er­al recipes, includ­ing a fam­i­ly favorite: Choco­late-Cov­ered Matzah Brit­tle. This book is a win­ner for fun-lov­ing kids, and espe­cial­ly for reluc­tant read­ers, or those chil­dren who are fans of com­ic series like Cap­tain Under­pants or Diary of a Wimpy Kid. Have fun! Rec­om­mend­ed for read­ers ages 7 – 10.

Mar­cia Ber­neger is a retired teacher who lives with her hus­band and three crazy dogs. She taught both first and sec­ond grade, as well as spe­cial edu­ca­tion. She cur­rent­ly teach­es Torah school, in addi­tion to her vol­un­teer work in class­rooms, libraries, and with var­i­ous fundrais­ers. She lives in San Diego.

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