Engineer Ari rushes to complete his final train ride to Jerusalem before Passover begins, but will he run out of time before getting the items he needs for his seder plate?
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About the AuthorShahar Kober is an illustrator and art director based in Israel. Shahar holds a degree in design and now teaches illustration for animation. His favorite projects often include adventurous animals. You can visit him online at www.skober.com.
Deborah Bodin Cohen was ordained at Hebrew Union College - Jewish institute of Religion. She is the author of many children's books including the Engineer Ari series, The Seventh Day, Papa Jethro, and Nachshon Who Was Afraid to Swim. Her books have received numerous honors, including a National Jewish Book award, Sydney Taylor honor designations and the Sugarman prize. She lives in Rockville, MD, with her husband David and three children.
"This fourth entry in the Engineer Ari series finds Ari rushing to complete his steam-engine run - round trip from Jaffa to Jerusalem - before Passover begins. He leaves for the train station with his holiday shopping list, and throughout the day, neighbors and friends present him with holiday gifts: an egg from Miriam, dates and almonds from Moshe, parsley from Shifra, and horseradish from Aaron. In return, Ari purchases special Passover matzah for everyone. He arrives home just in time for the seder, only to fall asleep before the festive meal is served. Set in 1893, Cohen's story provides readers with a glimpse of daily life for Palestinian Jews in the years before the British Mandate. Israeli illustrator Kober's cheerful, cartoon-style artwork reflects the sights and sounds of this bygone era. Appended with a note about the real Jerusalem-to- Jaffa train, this makes a good addition to the holiday shelf, especially for Israeli history buffs." -- Booklist Online--Website
"In this fourth title featuring Engineer Ari, the friendly driver of Jerusalem's first steam engine is making one last round trip between Jaffa and the holy city before the start of Passover. Checking the list of items he needs for his seder plate, Ari heads to the station, stopping to talk to his neighbors who offer him a roasted egg and some charoset in exchange for a box of matzah from Jerusalem. Boarding the bright red train, Ari and his passengers travel through the Israeli countryside, stopping briefly so Ari can accept some parsley and horseradish from friends along the way. Crossing two more items off his list, Ari pulls the train into the station and hurries to the Old City to get a shank bone from the butcher and matzah for himself and his friends. Inside the matzah factory everyone is rushing about, making sure to finish each batch of matzah in 18 minutes. 'Any longer and the matzah might rise like bread, ' says Batya the Baker. On his way back to Jaffa, Ari delivers boxes of matzah to his friends, then dashes home with his packages just in time to arrange the seder plate before the festivities begin. The appeal of the Engineer Ari series continues to be its consistent and charming simplicity, which fo-cuses not only on a well known Jewish holiday tradition (e.g. the seder plate), but on a sense of both history and community as well. An appealing addition to the holiday bookshelf." -- Jewish Book World--Magazine
"On his last run to Jerusalem before the Passover holiday, Engineer Ari manages to gather all the necessary items for his Seder plate, arriving home exhausted just before the holiday's ceremonial dinner begins. Ari is in a hurry, rushing to keep his train on schedule while trying to gather everything on his Seder shopping list. Luckily, his many friends along the way are more than willing to help. Neighbor Miriam will roast a fresh egg and leave it on his doorstep; Moshe, picking dates and almonds from his orchard, will make him some extra charoset; friend Shifra gives him a bunch of parsley from her abundant basket; Aaron shares his horseradish root by breaking it in half. Once the train arrives in the Old City, Ari quickly finishes his shopping with a shankbone from the butcher, as well as enough matzo from the factory to bring back as a thank-you to all his neighbors and friends. The action plays out on the now-familiar, earnest Israeli's short train ride from Jaffa to Jerusalem in the late 19th century, while neatly folding in the key components of the annual weeklong spring celebration. Nostalgia, companionship and cooperation are emphasized in the simple text and winsome retro-style illustrations. Children and adults will be charmed by the latest in this amiable series." -- Kirkus Reviews--Journal