Tuesday, April 12, 2011

review: The Little Red Hen and the Passover Matzah

The Little Red Hen and the Passover Matzah by Leslie Kimmelman. Illustrated by Paul Meisel. Holiday House, 2010 (978-0-8234-1952-4) $16.95

Learning about Passover can be entertaining -- who knew? I smiled all the way through this story, in which the Little Red Hen, who sounds quite a bit like my Jewish grandmother, learns that she has to make all her matzoh preparations herself -- to say nothing of cleaning the house of bread and preparing the Seder dinner. Despite her friends' uncooperative -- even rude! -- attitude when she asks for help, at the end the Little Red Hen remembers the words of the Haggadah, "Let all who are hungry come and eat." Deciding that a good mensch forgives, she lets them join in the Seder -- but justice is satisfied, since she gives them a good scold first and makes them wash the dishes.

This reads aloud delightfully, and all the yiddishism give it even more of a lilt, as well as make it funnier. "Friends, schmends," the Little Red Hen mutters, and, "So I should starve?" The pen & ink and water color illustrations nicely capture the bustling hen's cozy home and the hangdog expressions of her friends when she scolds them. Plus, if you've ever wanted to see a horse wearing a yarmulke, here's your chance. * (3 & up)

© 2011 Wendy E. Betts

FTC disclosure: Review copy from the public library. This blog is completely independent, but I receive a small percentage if you order books from Powell's via this site.

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