Violet and Simon, endearingly good-natured Jewish bunny siblings, offer very young readers a first look at the annual spring celebration by hopping through all the traditional foods and rituals of the preparation for and participation in a happy family Passover Seder. A patient Grandma and Grandpa answer questions and explain the special dinner while the children set the table, learn about the significance of the Seder plate, eat a bit more parsley andÂ charosetÂ ("More bricks, please," says Violet) than is required and have their first taste of matzo. The story of the Exodus is lightly touched on through references to slavery and freedom, while the anticipation of Elijah's visit adds mystery to a joyful evening. Culminating with family singing and declarations of "what I love best about Passover," this emotionally satisfying story packs a lot of information into a relatively small package. Sweet furry faces and floppy ears and a spring-hued home add the right amount of holiday charm for preschoolers. They'll be especially eager to sample theÂ charosetÂ Violet is so eager to eat when they notice the recipe that's included.Â (Picture book/religion. 2-4)Copyright Kirkus 2011 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.
The bunnies that first appeared in Hoppy Hanukkah! are celebrating Passover. Readers can learn along with Violet and Simon about the holiday as they prepare the seder plate (" ‘I just made charoset,' said Grandma. ‘See? It looks like clay that the slaves made into bricks' "), read from the haggadah, and search for "the afikomen--the hidden matzoh." Filling a glass of wine for the prophet Elijah, Violet and Simon watch to see if he drinks any: " ‘I think he did,' whispered Violet. ‘Me, too,' whispered Simon." Even readers unfamiliar with Passover should relate to the wonder experienced by the bunnies. Ages 2-5. (Mar.)[Page ]. Copyright 2010 PWxyz LLC
PreS-Gr 2--In this companion to Hoppy Hanukkah! (Albert Whitman, 2009), bouncy young bunnies Violet and Simon are celebrating Passover with their parents and grandparents. They help prepare the food and the table and participate gleefully in the Seder. Family members each choose what they love best about the holiday, wrapping up with Grandma's declaration that Violet and Simon are her favorite part of it. The adults introduce the traditional foods and customs with simple explanations appropriate for the target audience. Common experiences, such as chasing down strong horseradish with sweet charoset or watching the prophet Elijah's cup to see if any wine disappears, ring true. While a lack of solid information prevents the book from acting as an introduction for the uninitiated, it works as a pleasing affirmation for those familiar with the holiday. The hopping of the enthusiastic young bunnies ("Around here it's Hoppy Passover!") adds humor to an already lighthearted story. The gently colored illustrations are as cuddly as the bunnies themselves. Rounded figures, smiling faces, and a cozy household create a warm and loving atmosphere. The male bunnies even put on yarmulkes when the Seder begins. A solid purchase where Passover is commonly celebrated.--Heidi Estrin, Feldman Children's Library at Congregation B'nai Israel, Boca Raton, FL[Page 80]. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.