The Sto­ry of Passover

David A. Adler; Jill Weber, illus.

  • Review
By – April 1, 2014

Fol­low­ing their suc­cess­ful ven­ture in The Sto­ry of Hanukkah (2011), Adler and Weber have again teamed up to cre­ate a straight­forward and visu­al­ly dra­mat­ic retelling of a Jew­ish hol­i­day sto­ry based around themes of his­tor­i­cal injus­tice and reli­gious free­dom. The famil­iar Pesach nar­ra­tive about the Jews’ exo­dus from Egypt is writ­ten in a style that is both sim­pler and less con­tex­tu­al than Adler’s A Pic­ture Book of Passover (1982), con­vey­ing all of the impor­tant and expect­ed details of the tale with­out sen­ti­men­tal­i­ty. To the Pharaoh, the ruler of Egypt, the Chil­dren of Israel were out­siders. He was afraid that one day they would rebel. To con­trol them, he made them slaves.” The spare text is enhanced by acrylic illus­tra­tions in a child-like folk-art style that con­veys both the grav­i­ty and excite­ment of the sto­ry. Here is where the dra­ma of the Passover is brought vivid­ly to life, from the whip­ping of the Hebrew slaves and the mourn­ing of the moth­ers of the first born, to the spec­ta­cle of the Ten Plagues and the part­ing of the Red Sea. It is this com­bi­na­tion of unclut­tered nar­ra­tive and visu­al expres­siveness that makes the book so acces­si­ble, par­tic­u­lar­ly for chil­dren who might not already be famil­iar with the Passover hol­i­day. A sol­id choice for Jews and non-Jews alike. Includes a page describ­ing the ele­ments of a Seder. 

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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