Shabbat Around the World
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"K-Gr 4–This historical fiction picture book introduces the Jewish holiday of Tisha B’Av through the story of Luis de Torres, a Spanish converso who escaped Spain by sailing with Columbus. It is 1492, and Luis (born Yosef), a Jew forced to convert to Catholicism, is leaving Spain to find religious freedom. He signs on as a translator aboard the Santa Maria. The ship is scheduled to depart July 31, the deadline for all Jews to leave Spain. July 31 is also Tisha B’Av, a holy fast day that commemorates the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem. It is a bad omen to depart that day, and the weather is ominous. There are other concerned Jewish crew members, and ultimately, when the departure date is delayed, the Jews are permitted to stay aboard to avoid arrest. The text effectively introduces the expulsion of the Jews from Spain and Tisha B’Av in an age-appropriate, comprehensible way. Centering the story on Torres, a real person, gives this a personal and empathetic feel. The art has a layered, collage look, with backgrounds done in full bleed, muted, textured colors. Averill uses color effectively, depicting the belowdecks and stormy day in dark foreboding colors. Characters are clothed in appropriate period dress, and Columbus is recognizable. Back matter separates fact from fiction and gives more information on the Jewish Expulsion and Tisha B’Av. VERDICT An excellent introduction to a lesser-known holiday and historical event. Jewish schools and libraries will want to add it, and it is a worthwhile addition for public libraries as needed."
School Library Journal
"The story is compelling and well told and the illustrations appear accurate for the period. The storm sequences are especially gripping…The title, ‘Luís deTorres Sails to Freedom’ is an outstanding introduction to the Spanish Inquisition and the observance of Tisha b’Av… The book presents an important part of Jewish history for children to think about."
AJL News and Reviews
"In this work of historical fiction, readers get a glimpse into the life of Luis de Torres, Christopher Columbus’s interpreter, who may have been a converso, a hidden Jew. In this story, he is trying to escape the Spanish Inquisition by joining the expedition. When the ship is scheduled to leave on Tisha B'Av, an important Jewish day of mourning, Luis convinces the commander to wait for better weather and better luck. Beautiful illustrations and brief back matter enhance the exciting story."
AJL Holiday Highlights spring 2023
"This impassioned and impressive picture book shares the struggles the Jewish people of Spain faced during the Spanish Inquisition…Centered around Tisha B’Av readers will learn more about this important day in Jewish history and how it is observed. Highly recommend.”
Liza Wiemer, Liza’s Book Corner, Wisconsin Jewish Chronicle
"An excellent story to help Jewish children understand the Sefardic past.”
HaLapid, Society for Crypto-Judaic Studies' quarterly magazine
"...a fast-paced picture book that combines the drama foreshadowing the American Revolution, the heroic Maccabee fight for freedom, and Sephardic Hanukkah customs"
Association of Jewish Libraries
"Just like any celebration of Hanukkah/"Janucá", there are many ingredients contributing to this appealing new book. Jewish multiculturalism, community support in the face of adversity, and a thirst for freedom all add up to an engaging story about a Jewish American past."
Jewish Book Council
"A fast-paced picture book that combines the drama foreshadowing the American Revolution, the heroic Maccabee fight for freedom, and Sephardic Hanukkah customs…the author has done fine research to tie the date of the famous Boston Tea Party to Hanukkah in 1773…readers can enjoy this lively historic vignette while feeling proud to see Jews at the founding of our nation."
Association of Jewish Libraries
"This delicious tale of friendship and freedom features bold and highly expressive illustrations… It authentically and positively represents Jewish culture, with an emphasis on Sephardic traditions and Hanukkah celebrations…Jewish values of kindness and friendship are demonstrated in an age-accessible way. Finally, the pre-Revolutionary setting is an added bonus, offering a glimpse of Jewish life in a less familiar era."
Sydney Taylor Shmooze
"…this is a book that combines years of research with the kind of imagination that will have children reading this book over and over."
Donald Harrison, San Diego Jewish World
"“The Boston Chocolate Party” is a children’s book that entertains while teaching a little history about Jews in colonial America… The book shows how Sephardic families at the time of the Boston Tea Party celebrated Chanukah…In an endearing story line…Joshua realizes that his family’s chocolate business can be his friend’s ticket to a better life. Who can resist a story where chocolate saves the day!"
Bracha Schwartz, The Jewish Link
"In this heartwarming illustrated tale, set in colonial times…two parallel stories unfold: One is the enduring bond between Joshua and his friend Isaac, who moved to Boston. The other draws connections between Hanukkah, that recalls the ancient Maccabees’ fight for religious freedom and the Colonists’ fight for freedom."
Boston Jewish Journal
"…this is the story of Spanish and Portuguese Jews who came to the United States to escape religious persecution, bringing their then-unheard-of chocolate recipes with them... It's the story of the Boston Tea Party, of Chanukah, and of how people fight for their right to live and practice their beliefs freely and without oppression. It's a story of family and friendship at the holidays, even in difficult times. What more could you want?"
"I adore historical fiction stories where I can learn something new, and "The Boston Chocolate Party" is no exception. Not only does this story illustrate how hot chocolate became popular in America, but it also introduces readers to the Sephardim."
Good Reads with Ronna
"This delightful picture book is based on a true story but has a folk tale flavor. Set in Jerusalem in the early 20th century, it tells of a clever horse who delivered the challah on her own when the baker’s boy felt too ill to drive the cart. Bright, engaging illustrations bring the characters and setting to life, as Soosie travels through historic Jerusalem in this finely crafted, heartwarming story."
AJL Holiday Highlights List Spring 2021
"A heartwarming tale with an abundance of kindness, love, and tradition."
“Lehman-Wilzig’s lovely story, Halberstadt’s evocative, richly colored art, and the atmosphere of Jerusalem, itself, combine to teach young readers about responsibility, honesty, and loving animal-care. It’s a beautifully rendered simple story on the surface but it’s a complex one, too, redolent of caring relationships between animals and people and filled with a sense of Shabbat peace… This highly recommended story would make a wonderful read-aloud and is an excellent resource for educators, parents, animal lovers, challah connoisseurs, and those — like Soosie — who love to wander the streets of Jerusalem.”
Michal Hoschander Malen
Editor, Young Adult & Children’s Book Reviews
Jewish Book Council
|"This combination bible story and recipe book succeeds through its breezy narrating tone and its ethnic foods. The author retells 14 popular stories from Tanakh and matches them with foods described, implied or relevant to the specific story. Older readers will like the hip and slightly fresh tone of voice, and thus will like rereading the stories. The text is accurate and interjects little known details of familiar biblical portions. The language has a distinct cadence. The vocabulary is strong...Recipes are chosen with charm as well as appropriateness...fun and food and bible in a neat package aimed at older elementary readers and cooks.
Recommended for Grades 2 to 6.
"What could be more fun than family cooking together, especially with a book that actually offers new food ideas and puts them in a Jewish context. Tasty Bible Stories is a collection of ancient Torah tales told in a very modern tone...With each retelling (all are short, about two pages), the reader also gets really cool recipes."
Detroit Jewish News
Amazon Reader Reviews
"Although not lengthy, this paperback is a terrific resource for families or religious school teachers. The recipes are easy enough for kids to make largely on their own and are very appealing taste-wise. Adding a food dimension to Bible studies makes the lessons more memorable and interactive. I use it regularly with my class and wish I'd had it when my kids were young!"
"What an informative, amusing and captivating book for young and old alike. The stories are so fun to read, using modern slang. The illustrations are so colorful and attractive. The recipes are a nice switch from what you would find in a typical children's cookbook. It would make a nice birthday or Chanukah gift."
"This is exactly what I was looking for! I am a chef and a Religious Education Director. I get to combine my love for God and my love for cooking and share it with the children!"
"Keeping The Promise by Tami Lehman-Wilzig, for 6-10 year olds, is the beautifully illustrated and beautifully crafted story behind the scroll taken by Ilan Ramon, Israel's first astronaut, into space."
Best Jewish Books of 2004
"Keeping The Promise is a beautiful book with a beautiful message."
Cleveland Plain Dealer
Jewish Women International
The Reading Teacher
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
"This is a beautifully illustrated work and a beautifully crafted true story."
"This story of a tiny Torah scroll that survives the Nazis to accompany Ilan Ramon on the doomed Columbia mission is one that all children, especially Jewish children should hear. The themes of hope and promise are universal. There are true heroes in this world and Rabbi Dasberg (z"l) and Ilan Ramon (z"l) are two of them."
"Charming illustrations bring to life a by-gone era, as Nina tells the story of her family's Sabbath lace tablecloth, which has been handed down from generation to generation. In Vienna, Austria, her great-great-great grandmother, Lotty Gross, a celebrated lace maker, made a beautiful lace tablecloth to welcome the Sabbath Queen to her home on Shabbat. Nina tells what happened when the Empress Elizabeth saw the exquisite tablecloth and insisted on buying it to use at her palace receptions. Once she found out the tablecloth's importance to Lotty, the Empress proved to have a heart. She sent it to Lotty to use it every weekend, and left it to Lotty in her will when she died. Now Nina's grandmother has given Nina's mother the tablecloth, and they have told Nina that someday it will be given to her.
Jewish Book World
Amazon Reader Review
"This heart-warming and meaningful story will appeal to children, mainly girls ages 7 - 10 years of age. It begins with Nina, a girl of about 7-8 years of age, who proudly announces that her mother has inherited a family heirloom, a lace tablecloth made by her great, great, great Grandma Lotty. Nina is pleased to share that this lovely item had once belonged to the Empress Elizabeth of Austria.
Nina recounts the history of how her great, great, great Grandma Lotty had become a lace maker and made the lace tablecloth. She lets us know its significance: it was used for Shabbat, to honor the Sabbath Queen on Friday nights. The story is beautifully illustrated in colorful and striking detail by Ksenia Topaz. The artistic and realistic images tremendously enhance the enjoyment of the story... a very pleasant ending to this very charming book. Most highly recommended."
"This beautifully spun tale provides a wealth of teaching possibilities by recounting a family's devotion to a single lemon tree and the effect it had on the five generations that followed. Through the great-great-grandson's version of his grandfather's recollections, we experience the world of Eastern Europe's Jews and their hardships. More importantly, Lehman-Wilzig confirms the importance of Judaism and its principles within the daily village culture. A single lemon tree not only provides an entire village with sustenance and a bit of luxury, it serves to reveal the lessons of Torah, the value of caring acts, the responsibility to one's family, to one's community and the earth...The combination of Mishna, text and artwork provides an entire lesson plan. The book also features an activity page which asks the reader to discover their family tzedakah heirlooms. Part of Gefen's new series of Jewish Heirloom Stories, this delightful picture book is a treasure."
Jewish Book World
"Only sweet lemons are served up in this charming children's parable...Mayer Aaron Levy and His Lemon Tree, a story within a story, conveys the concept of tzedakah. Perfect for young children, the endearing book by Israeli author Tami Lehman-Wilzig teaches an important lesson without ever sounding preachy...Mayer Aaron Levy and His Lemon Tree kicks off a new series conceived and written by Lehman-Wilzig for Gefen publishers. Called Jewish Heirloom Stories, each original folktale revolves around a Jewish value that is designed to bond multiple generations. Each concludes with an activity calling for children to sit down with their parents and grandparents to write their own story on a similar theme. If this is an indication of what's to come, bring on the others."
"A very special book about charity is Mayer Aaron Levy and His Lemon Tree by Tami Lehman-Wilzig...the story teaches children not only the importance of giving but also about appreciating what they have."
"This lovely and heart-warming story by Tami Lehman-Wilzig provides a great example of the benefits of sharing to children ages 7 - 11. When a person does a good deed for someone, especially those less fortunate, it represents how G-d cares for all of creation. This type of caring reverberates throughout the community and often has far reaching consequences as demonstrated so nicely by this story. The book is a joy to read because it teaches a great lesson. It is also a joy to view the realistic and colorful artwork by Ksenia Topaz who beautifully illustrates each page of this book."
Zvuvi the fly and cousin Zahava lead a tour of Israel's sights and historical venues from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv, from the coastal beaches of Netnaya and Eilat through Haifa and the Galilee, north and south to Tiberias and the Dead Sea. Topaz's joyfully rendered watercolor scenes accompany a chatty text with both tour guides leading the way. Readers are alerted to the wonders, beauty and history while also asked to search for the "tour flies" as they are hidden within the various scenes. This oversized format, with its many, layered views of the country, will serve as a good introduction for anyone planning a visit with children...Zvuvi and Zehava are likeable guides, and the overall design and wealth of information make this a friendly introduction to the country.
Zvuvi and Zahava, two flies who live in Israel, travel the country showing readers historical, cultural, and natural sites. They have a few close calls with flyswatters, but for the most part enjoy zoos, beaches, cable cars, and other locales. Detailed paintings give a good sense of place... On several pages, readers are challenged to find tiny images of Zvuvi or Zahava that have been incorporated into long-shot scenes-hints are provided in the back matter... This whirlwind, very simplified tour covers a lot of ground.
School Library Journal
In Zvuvi's Israel, author Tami Lehman-Wilzig gives us a fly-eye's view of the Land of Israel as buzzing Zvuvi wings his way across the country with his cousin Zahava. They hover over the Western Wall, nibble falafel and slide down the waterfall at Banias. Recalling the popular Where's Waldo? books, readers must search for Zvuvi in the pictures-he may be scuba diving in Eilat or skiing down Mount Hermon. Author and artist have created a charming challenge.
How would you like to take a "straight-as-the-fly-goes" tour of a foreign country? Author Tami Lehman-Wilzig enables us to do exactly this. Zvuvi, which means "fly" in Hebrew, is just that--a fly! He meets his cousin Zahava at the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem, Israel, and together they zoom to various other cities in Israel, such as Tel Aviv, Haifa, and Eilat, stopping to see various sights along the way, including the Soreq Cave, Dor Beach, Upper Galilee, Mt. Hermon, Qumran (where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found), and the Dead Sea.
Jewish children especially will be interested in learning more about these places, but even a lot of non-Jews who have studied the events recorded in the Hebrew Scriptures will enjoy seeing what many of those places are like today. There are both a glossary to explain the meanings of certain words used in the text and a map to help readers follow the route that Zvuvi and Zahava take. Also, on several pages, many of the colorful illustrations by Ksenia Topaz contain a "find the fly" exercise that kids will like to do (and if you can't find them, there are some hints on the last page). This is a really neat book to get a "fly's eye view" of the nation of Israel.
In Zvuvi's Israel...our guide pays a flying visit to the key sights, from the Wall to Dolphin Reef, including such lesser-known attractions as Haifa's Maritime Museum and the Canada Center ice-skating rink in Metulla. Zvuvi would get on well with Matthew Buzzington, since he and his companion Zahava are flies. See if you can spot your onomatopoeic tour guide in Ksenia Topaz's detail-packed illustrations. An effective first guidebook for ages five to 11.
The Jewish Community Online
This book is fun! North American Ashkenazi Jews often feel that the way they (we) celebrate holidays, tell stories, and sing songs is the only way/the best way/the real way to do them. But it's not, and after reading this book I think everyone will be ready to cook something new, play a different game, sing a different song. After a quick history lesson, we are told a couple of things that I didn't know-"Store your candles in the freezer to make them for longer". And for lighting the Hanukkah candles, in Sephardi households, "only the head of the household lights the hanukkiah". The "Hanukkah-Israel connection" is made much more clear-"once again, a small number of Jews relied on strategy not one, but many mighty armies surrounding them." Then we take a virtual trip around the world. In Israel, the city of Modi'in holds an annual relay race from Modi'in to Jerusalem in which a torch is passed from one runner to the next. In New York City, a family does "something different every day" of Hanukkah-a night to bake cookies, a music night, a movie night, a night to give to charity, a night to invite friends for a sleepover, and a night to exchange gifts. In Istanbul, we get a new song ("Ocho Candelas") and a new recipe for "burmelos"-fried fritters. In Samarkand,Uzbekistan, "it is customary for sodas to bring their families to their parents' homes to celebrate the first night of the holiday." We get a little vocabulary lesson (Bivi, grandmother, and Bobo, grandfather) and a recipe for jarkoff, traditionally served on the holiday. From Turin, Italy, there is a link between Tisha b'Av and Hanukkah-the first being sad, the destruction of the Temple, and the secondbeing the joyful rededication. The recipe is for Precipizi a honey-covered sweet. In Australia Hanukkah comes in the summer, so the recipe is for a New York Blizzard, a vanilla ice cream/milk combination. In Warsaw Poland, we get potato latkes; in Nabeul, Tunisia, we don't get a recipe, but we do learn about the Festival of the Daughters. The book concludes with a Hanukkah Potpourri and a nice glossary. Recommended.
This tour of Hanukkah includes information on its historical significance and the ways in which it is celebrated in places like New York City, Turin, Sydney and Warsaw. After an introductory section about the history, terminology and customs associated with the holiday, the book features a story of a child living in each city. Each section explains how he or she will celebrate the holiday and offers brief historical summaries of Judaism in each region as well as recipes for dishes like burmelos, precipizi and latkes. The informative sections are nicely balanced against the more festive elements.
Hanukkah traditions from several countries are outlined in this compilation of lesser-known commemorative customs. A generic history of the holiday is followed by eight fictional short stories related to a specific city around the world. From a torch relay in Modi'in, Israel, where the Maccabees' struggle began, to a concert in Istanbul sung in the Sephardic language of Ladino, to a summery outdoor celebration in Sydney, to a Samarkand, Uzbekistan, custom of dancing for eight nights in different homes, the stories relate unique practices. Sidebars include each city's past and present Judaic presence and influence as well as recipes. Wehrman's soft muted paintings, which sketch out maps, traditional dress and foods, add a further instructional element to the fictional prose. A "Hanukkah Potpourri" offers one-paragraph descriptions of ten additional observances.
This companion to Passover Around the World (2006) provides a history of Hanukkah's origins, a discussion of current traditions, and fictional stories (set in Israel, the U.S., Turkey, Uzbekistan, Italy, Australia, Poland, and Tunisia) highlighting the ways in which contemporary families celebrate the Festival of Lights. For each country the author includes a large map, full-color paintings, a nation-specific historical sidebar, and a holiday recipe; an appended section provides briefer information about local customs in additional countries. Some rituals will surprise readers in colder climates-a torch relay in Israel and an outdoor carnival in Australia, for example-but similarities such as singing, lighting candles, and enjoying fried foods also emerge. Although South America is not represented and no source notes are provided, the engaging text and attractive illustrations will make this a good choice for families wishing to explore diverse ways of celebrating.
Move over latkes, make room for precipizi. And sufganiyot, debla cookies and burmelos. These are among the traditional sweets eaten in Jewish homes from Italy to Israel, Tunisia and Turkey during the eight-day Festival of Lights. Recipes for the treats are featured in "Hanukkah Around the World" by Israeli-American children's writer Tami Lehman-Wilzig. The illustrated travelogue takes young readers to eight faraway places around the globe.
Hanukkah Around the World is rich in descriptions of the festival of lights as it is celebrated in Modi'in (Israel), New York, Istanbul, Samarkand (Uzbekistan) and Turin (Italy)-wherever Jews make their homes. Author Tami Lehman-Wilzig includes songs in Ladino, Hebrew, Yiddish, English and Russian-and recipes for tasty treats from sufganiyot (doughnuts) to bourekas. Each community celebrates with joy, united by shared history. Descriptions of games and dances abound and Vicki Wehrman's illustrations are lovely.
"Hanukkah Around the World" by Tamar Lehman-Wilzig, with illustrations by Vicki Wehrman, is an excellent encyclopedic journey to several exciting places across the globe for kids in first to third grades. The book is part geography, part Jewish culture and heritage primer, and part glossary of Chanukah terms and concepts wrapped around stories that illustrate the diversity of Jews and Jewish ritual. Maya especially liked the chapter on Chanukah in Istanbul, where the character Molly dreams of burmelos, fried fritters.
In spring, migrating storks always stop at young Maya’s kibbutz on their way back to their European homes. When one stork breaks its wing on some netting in a kibbutz fish pond, Maya becomes the bird’s advocate; with help from her father, the stork becomes a surrogate mother to a nestful of needy stork chicks. Lehman-Wilzig (Zvuvi’s Israel) immerses readers in rhythms of kibbutz life from the very first page, and she never makes a big deal of Maya’s confidence and competence: when the girl pulls out her walkie-talkie and sends out the alert, “S-O-S. Stork in net,” it’s the most natural thing in the world. U.K.-based illustrator Shuttlewood works in watercolors, an ideal medium for a story that takes place entirely outdoors. She renders her human characters in a somewhat simple style, as if reserving the detailing for the birds at the center of the story. And handsome they are, with a magnificent, snowy wingspans tipped in black, and bright red legs and beaks. It’s easy to why Maya devotes her considerable intelligence and energies to them. Ages 3–8. Illustrator’s agent: Advocate Art. (Sept.
July 28, 2014
Tami Lehman-Wilzig's book, Stork's Landing, is a new book about Israel's massive bird migrations and what happens to one stork whose wing is broken when caught in a net protecting the kibbutz fishpond. It's based on a true story (with fictional development). The story is beautifully illustrated in vibrant watercolors. The book teaches good Jewish values regarding Tzaar Baalei Chaim (ethical treatment of animals) and perseverance.
T. Rieser, Amazon Review
Enchanting !! The story and pictures blend beautifully to tell about nature, and man's place in it. The migration of birds over Israel, that narrow land connection between Europe,Asia, and Africa, is brought to life for children of all ages. As a mother and educator, I loved it !!
Naomi Resnik, Amazon Review
An environmental theme unites nine Jewish bible stories enhanced with a variety of science and nature activities.
The religiously focused narrative begins by stating that God’s “perfectly planned planet” has been misused by humankind. Biblical figures such as Noah, Abraham, Joshua, Joseph and Moses demonstrate how the Bible is filled with ways to preserve and respect the earth. From Noah’s Ark and the flood, illustrating the beauty of the planet’s biodiversity, to Joshua’s need for sunlight to successfully defend the people of Gibeon with solar power, each scene is connected to a contemporary interpretation through introductory paragraphs and child-oriented projects. For example, noise pollution is addressed through the story of how Joshua destroyed Jericho first by surrounding the city walls with silence and then by using the loud trumpet blasts to crack the ramparts reinforcing the walls. This is followed by a simple science experiment that will observe whether two identical plants will grow differently under soothing classical and loud hard rock music. Biblical scenes done in gouache against white or pastel backgrounds alternate with easy-to-achieve directives in white panels set against a background that look like green handmade paper. A final “potpourri” section deals with biblical laws and practices for a plethora of eco-friendly practices.
A credible, ethical approach to teaching environmental science and responsibility under a Judaic umbrella.(Religion. 5-9)
"In this vibrant picture book, Lehman-Wilzig (Tasty Bible Stories) invites readers to travel the globe as she explores how Jews from different cultures celebrate Passover...the author provides a child-centric anecdote or family story, a sidebar containing basic historical, political and geographical information, and a recipe from the area...After reading this book, families may well want to add a new twist - or dish - to their own traditions."
"‘The strategy--developed by God--was to hit Egypt with plague after plague, until the ruler Pharaoh finally gave up and let the Hebrews go.' In casual prose and full-page, handsome paintings, this picture book about how Jews celebrate Passover also takes a quick look back at the Jewish Diaspora and its history in the U.S., Gibraltar, Turkey, Ethiopia, India, Iran, Morocco, and Israel. For each country, there is a large clear map; a short history of when, where, and why Jews settled there; and a fictionalized story, illustrated with a painting of a contemporary family seder. The back matter includes a few more traditions, lots of recipes, and a glossary...For kids slightly older than the usual audience for holiday picture books, this accessible title will encourage families to talk about the diverse traditions and connections."
American Library Association
"This global exploration of the Passover celebration takes a multicultural look at the Passover Seder, examining the customs and traditions associated with the holidays in eight different countries on four different continents. This is an intriguing idea: it makes perfect sense, in light of the way traditions hold sway at holidays, to use the holiday focus to explore the different traditions of Judaism in a number of countries."
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
"After briefly telling the story of Passover: a celebration of freedom, and devoting a double-page spread to the special foods and objects which go on every Seder table worldwide, Lehman-Wilzig explores different Passover customs in eight countries around the world. There is a boxed paragraph of facts about each country, and individual stories showing families following their traditions in: America, Gibraltar, Ethiopia, Morocco, Turkey, India, Iran, and Israel, with a Seder on a kibbutz. She includes Passover recipes from around the world, such as "Diane Ben -Efraim's Kneidels" from Israel, "Good Morning Matzah Brie," "Yummy Mashed Potato Kugel", and "Granny Fanny's Cold Egg Soup," from America, as well as "Savta Mazal's Stuffed Dates" from Morocco, and "Madre's Burmelos" from Turkey. A section called Passover Potpourri provides more interesting brief information about different Passover customs in Egypt, Hungary, Poland, Ashkenazi customs from Europe, and customs practiced by possible descendents of Crypto Jews in Texas and Mexico. Handsomely illustrated with colorful maps and gently muted paintings which support the informative, well-organized text, the book ends with a Glossary in which most of the words are translated from Hebrew, as well as Yiddish, Farsi, and Spanish. This can be used by teachers with their classes, and by parents to give them new ideas for recipes and traditions to add to their Passover celebrations. For ages 8 - 12.
Jewish Book World
"Jewish-American children will be intrigued by the practices in Ethiopia, India, Turkey, and Gibraltar, among other places that are not known for their Jewish populations...Unusual facts and recipes are included."
School Library Journal
"An actual brick on the Seder plate? That's only one of the intriguing Seder traditions that Tami Lehman-Wilzig has gathered for Passover Around the World, her delightful new book."
Jewish Woman Magazine
"Tami Lehman-Wilzig's book uses short story vignettes, easy-to-digest maps, inviting illustrations and simple recipes to draw young readers into the topic of how Passover customs differ around the world."
Jewish News Weekly of Northern California
"Children a little older will be interested to learn of Passover customs in different communities, and will enjoy the descriptions in Passover Around the World by Tami Lehman-Wilzig, illustrated by Elizabeth Wolf...It can be used as a source book, and no doubt parents will learn from it as well. Each of the eight countries can serve as a separate story, and will pique interest and discussion. They let young children know that although the Passover story is the same for Jews all over the world, details of the rituals vary."
Chicago Jewish Star
Amazon Reader Review
"Thought this was a lovely and interesting way to learn about Passover around the world. The recipes make it a fun book for the parents. The illustrations and maps make it very real for any age. They are very beautiful and educational. This book makes a great gift for grandparents to give to their grandchildren."
January 23, 2007
The traditional family Hanukkah celebration is here adjusted to include an autistic boy’s interpretation.
Jacob’s brother, Nathan, can be quite vexing, especially when he repeats himself constantly. Jacob’s mother has explained that Nathan’s “mind is wired differently” and that he “just looks at things in his own way.” On the first two nights of Hanukkah, Jacob is excited to welcome new neighbors Steven and parents to their candle-lighting ceremony. He quickly regrets it when, to his acute embarrassment, Nathan blows out the candles despite being told they are not like birthday ones. Playing dreidel also proves to be less than enjoyable when Nathan fixates on the spinning and ignores the rest of the game. Yet when confronted by Steven—“your brother is weird” —Jacob counters with the defiant response that Nathan’s autistic (not, as Steven mishears, "artistic") behavior helps his family see the world just a bit differently. Softly outlined illustrations offer snapshot views of family gatherings while also capturing emotional expressions of surprise, chagrin and enjoyment, as reflected in the arc of the story line. A creative final scene encompasses both the traditional menorah lighting as well as a birthday-like candle celebration atop a tray of jelly doughnuts.
This inclusive holiday story offers a realistic perspective on one family’s ability to embrace an autistic individual with respect and compassion. (author’s note)(Picture book. 6-8)
Online Review: August 17, 2011
Print Issue Review: September 1, 2011