The Best Four Questions

(Author) (Illustrator)

Product Details

Kar-Ben Publishing (R)
Publish Date
9.3 X 9.5 X 0.2 inches | 0.3 pounds

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About the Author

RACHELLE BURK writes fiction and nonfiction for children ages 3 to 13, including picture books Don't Turn the Page!, Tree House in a Storm, The Best Four Questions, and the award-winning biography Painting in the Dark: Esref Armagan, Blind Artist. Find out more about her books and school visits at

Mélanie Florian graduated from Emile Cohl Art School in Lyon, France with a degree in illustration. She always loved drawing and, as a child, spent countless hours with pencils and pastels. Mélanie lives in France.


"Now that Marcy can read, the duty of asking the four questions at the seder passes to her. But the preternaturally inquisitive Marcy is under the impression that the responsibility involves asking any four questions. Which she does: 'How many matzah balls are in Grandma's chicken soup? Why does Uncle Benjy always fall asleep during the Seder? Are worms kosher for Passover? Is horseradish made from horses?' Florian's warm-hued, bighearted cartooning portrays a loving, close-knit family, and Burk depicts the family's reaction to Marcy as affirming and good-humored. They applaud Marcy's curiosity, provide satisfying answers (although Uncle Benjy insists he's only resting his eyes), and the seder moves merrily along. It's clearly not the first seder for Marcy's family, so it's unlikely that she wouldn't know that the four questions don't involve extemporization. But Passover is a celebration of freedom, and that includes the liberty to take a small detour into shared silliness." --Publishers Weekly


"It's time to ask the four questions at the Passover Seder--but which four questions will a little girl ask? As the youngest in the family, pigtailed Marcy will be the one asking the traditional four questions that lead to the story of the Passover Exodus. She is very excited about this because she just loves to ask questions. Picking out her outfit and watching as her grandmother assembles the foods for the Seder plate, Marcy then joins her family at the table and proceeds. Alas, her four questions are somewhat related to Passover but they are not the ones written down in the Haggadah. Her family goes with her flow, though, and thoughtfully answers her inquiries about how many matzah balls are in the soup, what horseradish is made of, if worms are kosher, and why elderly Uncle Benjy falls asleep at the table. Finally, with the help of her older brother, she reads the four questions as written. Readers can share in the reading, and the Seder can proceed. Burk then provides the answers in a follow-up. Florian's illustrations are colorfully cartoonish and depict a white family. A cheerful explanation of one aspect of the Jewish celebration of freedom." --Kirkus Reviews