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April 11, 2014     Heritage Florida Jewish News
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April 11, 2014

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HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, APRIL 11, 2014 PAGE 13A Passover books for children By Penny Schwartz BOSTON (JTA)--Frolick- ing frogs and magical matzah balls are featured in this season's crop of new Pass- over books for children that are sure to engage, inform, entertain and inspire. David A. Adler, author of the hugely popular early reader "Cam Jansen" series, offers "The Story of Passover." Adler is highly acclaimed for his straightforward narrative style in non-fiction books, including dozens on Jewish holidays. Pie says he likes to appeal to readers of any Jewish background, whether from traditional, observant Jew- ish families or those who are interested in learning about Passover, "I like my books to be open and acceptable to all," Adler tells JTA. With his author's note on the seder, Adler offers little- known answers to intriguing questions that spark the curiosity of a broad audience. Other titles this year in- clude "Frogs in the Bed," offering an engaging book version of a lively Passover song, and "Stone Soup with Matzoh Balls,"which provides a delightful spin on a familiar folk tale. Passover, which this year begins on the evening of April 14, provides an endless source of inspiration for writers of children's books. Among the dozens that line library shelves, some recount the biblical Exodus, others retell Jewish folktales or tales of Eli- jah the Prophet, who figures so prominently in the seder. Contemporary stories de- pict families celebrating Passover, and activity books and children's Haggadahs promise to engage kids with puzzles, songs and jokes through the long night of the Passover seder. The winner of the 2014 Sydney Taylor BookAward for young readers given by theAs- sociation of Jewish Libraries is a Passover story, "The Longest Night," by Laurel Snyder, il- lustrated by Catia Chien. The beautifully illustrated book is told in poetic rhyme from the perspective of a young girl as if she were an Israelite slave living through the Exodus from Egypt. The following is the new crop of children's books for Passover: The Story of Passover David A. Adler, illustrated by Jill Weber Holiday House ($15.95); ages 4-8 The story that is retold at the Passover seder begins 3,000 years ago in the bibli- cal days of Jacob as he settles in Egypt. Readers learn how the Israelites become slaves and follow Moses as he is raised by Pharaoh's daughter in the palace and later as he leads the Israelites out of Egypt. Weber's detailed illustra- tions evoke the color palette and landscape of ancient Egypt . She gently conveys the suffering of the Egyptians through the plagues and the triumph of the Israelites in a fantasy-like drawing as they cross the Red Sea into freedom. Frogs in the Bed--My Passover Seder Activity Book Ann D. Koffsky, based on the song by Shirley Cohen Steinberg Behrman House ($7.95); ages 4-7 Young kids will have fun with the frolicking frogs in a book that also includes a comic book story and activi- ties for before or during the seder. Koffsky's colorful, cartoon-like illustrations animate the song. Cute frogs turn up everywhere Pharaoh goes. They also pop up out of chandeliers and juggle fruit. The book includes the Four Questions, as well as mazes and other seder-related distractions. An easy set of instructions with shapes to trace lets kids make their own jumping froggy. The sheet music is included. The Littlest Levine Sandy Lanton, illustrated by Claire Keay Kar-Ben ($7.95); ages 3-8 Hannah Levine is not happy about being the littlest (and youngest) one in her family, with two older siblings who do all the things she isn't allowed to do yet. Her grandfather, who lives with the family, keeps reassuring her, "Your holiday is coming, my littlest Levi ne." As Passover nears, he makes her feel special, teach- ing her the Four Questions. When it's time for the seder, Hannah is ready to enjoy the spotlight. This charming intergenera- tional story will strike a chord for many kids and may help those who are a tad reluctant to recite the Four Questions. Keay's brightly colored il- lustrations are active, warm and upbeat. Max Makes a Cake Michelle Edwards, illus- trated by Charles Santoso Random House ($17.99); ages 3-7 Max is ready for Passover. The endearing young boy knows the Four Questions and can tell his baby sister why Passover is different from all other nights. He's also eager to bake his artist morn a Passover birthday cake. But with the baby in the house, his dad gets a bit distracted. Losing patience and with little time to spare, the in- Taglit-Birthright Israel announces new program Taglit-Birthright Israel announces the establishment of a unique training program for an elite cadre of American trip leaders through a part- nership with the iCenter, a North American organization dedicated to Israel education. Taglit-Birthright Israel will dub the participants "Taglit Fellows" and expects to pro- vide up to 200 trip leaders each yearwith intensive theoretical and practical training skills. Taglit-Birthright Israel's three-pronged approach to trip leaders' education will include a four-day seminar with Jewish and Israel studies and skill-building workshops, the implementation of online learning and the establish- ment of a networking frame- work for these leaders. Applications for the first round of Taglit Fellows opened on April 1, 2014. Applicants should be at least 21 years old, have professional expe- rience in Jewish education or in communal settings, knowledge of Israeli history and culture, and must be able to commit to staffing three Taglit-Birthright Israel trips over the three years following the completion of training. The deadline to apply is May 15, 2014. Interested parties should visit www.TaglitFel- "The Taglit Fellows pro- gram complements our suc- cessful Institute for Tour Educators in Yad Ben Zvi, Israel which ensures that our participants receive the best experience pos- sible from people thoroughly trained in all aspects of the experience we provide," said Taglit-Birthright Israel CEO Gidi Mark. "The next natural step in the advancement of this training is to educate the American staff who join the buses. The iCenter's reputation in advancing high quality, meaningful and innovative Israel educa- tion was a natural choice for collaboration on this exciting initiative." The Taglit Fellows program is funded by the Maimonides Fund through a $4 million grant over the next six years. "This initiative provides us with a terrific opportunity to simultaneously improve the educational quality of the trips as well as dramati- cally increasing our capacity for effective follow up," said Maimonides Fund President Mark Charendoff. "It is strong evidence that Birthright is committed not just to increasing numbers but to constantly rethinking how to best engage the young people who participate, on both sides of the ocean." genious young fellow takes matters into his own hands. He creates a memorable cake all by himself. The recipe for a Hurry, Hurry, Hurry Cake is included. Santoso's bright, lively il- lustrations place readers right in the action. Stone Soup with Matzoh Balls--A Passover Tale in Chelm Linda Glaser, illustrated by Maryam Tabatabaei Albert Whitman ($16.99); ages 4-7 In Jewish folk tradition, Chelm is known as a make- believe town filled with nafve fools who, despite themselves, manage to impart wisdom with a huge dose of humor. In this delightful story, Linda Glaser gives a Chelm spin to a tale told in many cultures around the world. On the eve of Passover, a poor ragged stranger arrives in the village and asks if anyone will invite him in to share the holiday. He quotes from the Haggadah, "All who are hungry come and eat." He sparks their interest by tell- ing them he can make a pot of matzah ball soup from only a stone. With clever prodding, he gets the villagers to create a huge pot of delicious soup, with light and fluffy matzah balls. Maryam Tabatabaei's expressive illustrations are a perfect match for the humorous story, evoking the Old World village with a playful tone. THE STORY OF illustrated by Jill weber Holiday House David A. Adler in "The Story of Passover" provides little. known answers to some intriguing questions ........ Seder in the Desert Jamie Korngold, photos by Jeff Finkelstein Kar-Ben ($7.95); ages 3-8 This colorful photo essay narrated by a young person offers up something new and unexpected for the holiday. "Why is this seder different from all others?" the book asks on its opening page. "Because this year we are celebrating Passover in the desert." Readers of all ages will be fascinated as they follow Rabbi Jamie and a large group of people on a hike through the sands and magnificent stone arches that fill Israel's Moab desert landscape. The adventure invites readers to imagine what it might have been like for ancient Israelites to wander the desert in the Exodus story. Your00in Orlando Real Estate!I!! 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