Author: April Halprin Wayland
Illustrator: Katie Kath
In this story told in spare, lyrical prose, a Jewish family prepares for their Passover seder, visiting the farmer's market for walnuts, lilacs, and honey (and adopting a kitten along the way!), then chopping apples for the charoset, and getting dressed up before walking to Nana's house. The refrain throughout is “Dayenu”—a mind-set of thankfulness, a reminder to be aware of the blessings in each moment. At Nana's, there's matzo ball soup, chicken, coconut macaroons, and of course, the hidden afikomen. After opening the door for Elijah and singing the verses of “Chad Gadya,”Nana tucks the children in for a special Passover sleepover.
I really adored this book! I'm not Jewish but my husband is, and when I showed him I had been sent this book for review his eyes lit up. He's used to me getting books, but this one really made him take notice.
I loved how simple it is yet shows exactly what dayenu means. As someone who doesn't know the Jewish faith as well, the book was a wonderful way for me to understand what dayenu means and more about Passover. Even though I've celebrated Passover with my husband for the last few years, after reading this book I have a better understanding. When I hear dayenu I'll more fully understand why it's said and what it means. I couldn't ask anything more from a book!
The story uses many of the words you would hear at Passover - charoset, afikomen, the four questions, matzah balls and more. They are used in a way that children who aren't familiar with them would see them as natural. Of course they might have questions, but the book doesn't stop the story to define these words. I liked that.
Another wonderful aspect of this book is the illustrations. They are so pretty. The colors are soft but detailed enough to expand on the words. Here are some pages from the book:
Love them all!
Sidenote: The family adopts a kitten during the story, and I adored that! It was just a cute aspect!
In the end: A nice gentle story about the celebration of Passover.