An Invitation to Passover


Product Details

$19.99  $18.59
Kalaniot Books
Publish Date
8.66 X 11.02 X 0.39 inches | 1.4 pounds

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About the Author

Rabbi Kerry Olitzky was named one of the 50 leading rabbis in North America by Newsweek and is well-known for his inspiring books that bring the Jewish wisdom and tradition into everyday life. He has written over 75 books and hundreds of articles in a variety of fields. The Littlest Candle, A Hanukkah Story, written with his son, Rabbi Jesse Olitzky, was published by Kalaniot Books in 2020. In 2021, Kalaniot Books published The Candy Man Mystery. Rabbi Deborah Bodin Cohen has written nine books for children and teens. She is rabbi at Beth Chai: the Jewish Humanist Congregation of Greater Washington and owner of the Story House, a bookstore for children and teens. She and her husband, David, a journalist, are joyfully raising three children--Arianna, Jesse and Ezra.Mariia Kolker was born and raised in Moscow. She graduated from Moscow State University of Printing Arts and has been creating books as both an illustrator and an author ever since. Whenever she can, she visits her grandmother in Israel.


A sweet and tender holiday tale celebrating friendship and diversity. When Hannah's extended family can't attend the Passover seder this year, she invites her friends to celebrate with her. Hannah, tan-skinned with brown hair, wants to create invitations that will excite her friends--but what should they say? Mom says that Passover is a celebration of spring and new beginnings and a time to remember Jewish history. Dad talks about the celebration of freedom for the Israelites and for everyone today and, of course, the delicious and meaningful foods. Hannah creates four invitations, each representing one of those concepts. Her diverse friends and their families bring special gifts that embrace those ideas and reflect their own cultures. Sammy brings a kite to celebrate spring as they do in India. Ha-Joon brings Korean kimchi, carefully made kosher, to match the bitter herbs of the seder plate. Monique brings song sheets for "Go Down, Moses," a traditional African American spiritual, to celebrate freedom. Rina, Hannah's friend from Hebrew school, brings homemade matzah (Rina's mother notes that when she was a child in Moscow, it was forbidden by the government). Each aspect of the seder is explained, and Hannah lovingly weaves her friends' gifts into the Passover story. Depicting smiling, hugging characters, Kolker's cheery artwork brims with joy.-- "Kirkus Reviews"
Hannah's extended family is not able to come to her house for seder this year and only Hannah, her parents and Mitzi (their cockapoo) will be there, so Hannah decides to invite her diverse friends to celebrate with them. Hannah's mom suggests that Hannah tell her friends that Passover is a celebration of spring, hope for the future, and a reminder of our history. Hannah's colorful and attractive invitations look as if they were drawn by a child which adds to the ability of children to relate to the book. Each attendee contributes to the seder in some way: Hannah's father believes Passover is about great food. Sammy, her best friend from India arrives first and brings a kite to symbolize spring. Ha-Joon from Korea brings kimchi, a spicy bitter vegetable, which Hannah uses as the bitter herb. Monique, her African-American friend, contributes song sheets of the spiritual "Go Down Moses." Rina, whose mother grew up in Moscow, brings homemade matza which her family used to bake in secret, because the Russian government did not allow Jews to celebrate Passover. Once the guests are assembled at the accurately drawn seder table, Hannah reflects on what each guest brought and how the gift relates to Passover. The end matter includes the story of Passover and a glossary. The illustrations of happy families add a feeling of joy to the text. Asa special bonus, interesting childlike drawings which illustrate parts of the Haggadah are interspersed throughout the book.--Ilka Gordon "Association of Jewish Libraries News and Reviews"
K-Gr 3-Each year Hannah's family comes to her house for a Passover seder. However, this year Hannah and her parents are very disappointed that their family is unable to attend. Hannah decides to invite her friends, so she won't have a "teeny tiny seder." She tells her friends that Passover is about remembering history, springtime, freedom, and great food. Although Hannah's friends have never celebrated Passover, they relate to these themes, and each bring something from their own cultures that connects to the celebration. Back matter provides an explanation of Passover and the meaning behind the foods that are shared at a traditional seder. The story adeptly incorporates details about the holiday, as well as interesting cultural connections from ¬Hannah's friends. Written by two rabbis, the story is effective and very sweet; however, the muted colors and simple ¬illustrations may not appeal to every reader. VERDICT Great for informational purposes, and a ¬fantastic class read as Passover -approaches.--Peggy Henderson Murphy "School Library Journal"
When Hannah's relatives can't come to her family's Passover seder, her parents agree she can invite friends to share in their celebration of a holiday whose central theme is welcoming the stranger. Hannah's diverse, multicultural group of friends includes non-Jewish families. They each bring something from their heritage that resonates with the themes of the holiday: the hope of spring, the bitterness of slavery, freedom, and recalling shared Jewish history. Lively, colorful illustrations embellish the engaging story by award-winning authors who spark curiosity for readers from all walks of life.--Penny Schwartz "Jewish Journal"