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Passover 2021

Passover begins Saturday night at sundown. Last year Shoshana wrote eloquently about how "this night" was extra different for many, and this year may be similarly different or otherwise in transition.

Two recent picture books, both by Friends of the Horn Book, could nicely supplement the Haggadah. The Passover Guest by Susan Kusel (a Family Reading contributor), illustrated by Sean Rubin, is a creative reimagining of I. L. Peretz’s “Der Kunzen-Macher” (“The Magician”). As Rachel L. Smith said in her March/April 2021 Magazine review, "this version’s message of hope during dark times feels especially relevant now."

Lesléa Newman's Welcoming Elijah: A Passover Tale with a Tail, illustrated by Susan Gal, was the winner of the Sydney Taylor Book Award in the picture book category and the National Jewish Book Award, children's category. As I said in my March/April 2020 Horn Book review: "Waiting is a feeling with which young Seder-goers will likely be familiar. The protagonist’s wait ends not as he expected, but satisfyingly nonetheless." Read more by Lesléa here (including her appreciation of Jane Yolen and then Jane's appreciation of the late Norton Juster).

See also our 2018 list of recommended reading for Passover. As always, visit the Association of Jewish Libraries website for more book recommendations. See this Family Reading post about the Yiddish Book Center's recent virtual event "Geographies of the Soul" with Marjorie Agosín and Ruth Behar. And be sure to read (and re-read) "We Need Diverse Jewish and Muslim Books: A Conversation" by Heidi Rabinowitz and Sadaf Siddique from the March/April 2020 Horn Book Magazine

Elissa Gershowitz

Elissa Gershowitz is executive editor of The Horn Book, Inc. She holds an MA from the Center for the Study of Children's Literature at Simmons University and a BA from Oberlin College.

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