Comforting, warm, deeply toned illustrations and simple, quiet storytelling portray a moment in the life of Raquela, a young girl who is an only child and lives with her parents in Spain during the time of the Inquisition. As many Jews found it necessary to do during the Inquisition, Raquela and her family celebrate the Sabbath in secrecy. Her parents have told her about the holiday of Passover but are afraid to celebrate the holiday with a traditional seder. Raquela wants to experience a seder, but her entreaties are met only with parental concern. Then, her fisherman father comes up with a creative approach enabling Raquela’s wish to come true in a unique and satisfying way.
Age-appropriately hinting at the historical horrors without graphic descriptions, the story sweeps the reader into a world of small miracles, devotion, imagination, and parental love. Raquela and her family create a seder the reader longs to attend.
Award-winning journalist and freelance writer, Helen Weiss Pincus, has taught memoir writing and creative writing throughout the NY Metro area to senior citizens and high school students. Her work has been published in The New York Times, The Record, The Jewish Standard, and other publications. She recently added “Bubby” to her job description.