Cover image for This is our Seder
This is our Seder
Hildebrandt, Ziporah, 1956-
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Holiday House, 1999.
Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 21 cm
A simple description of the food and activities at a Seder, the ritual meal of Passover, including an explanation of their historical and symbolic significance.
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
BM695.P3 H54 1999 Juvenile Current Holiday Item Holiday
BM695.P3 H54 1999 Juvenile Current Holiday Item Childrens Area-Holiday

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"This is our night for coming together," begins this simple and endearing poem about observing Passover. As a spirited extended family arrives and the meal begins, the important elements of the Seder are introduced: the Seder plate for teaching, the questions for asking, the story for telling, and at last the yummy meal for gobbling up!Robin Roraback's colourful pictures lend warmth, vivacity, and even some humor, as several generations joyfully observe a traditional Seder with their own unique touches. Notes on the history of Passover and Seder traditions are also included.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Ages 4^-7. The text is very simple: "This is our night for coming together. / This is the plate for teaching, / the wine for blessing." Each of the important elements of the Passover seder is introduced in the same way. Of course, those items also need further explanation for the uninitiated, which comes in an author's note that delves into more details about the holiday. It will be up to parents or other adult readers to pass the information along, but they will be greatly helped by the wonderful pictures, done in crisp colors outlined in ink and featuring an extended family that is very real. Facing each page on which the items are described are scenes at the seder showing the items in use. Pillows that are to be used for leaning upon get a toss from the kids, the greens for dipping get sniffed by the dog, and at the end of the meal, the table is covered with dishes while aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents joyfully celebrate the freedom that Passover represents. A true celebration. --Ilene Cooper

Publisher's Weekly Review

The text for this inviting volume couldn't be simpler, as Hildebrandt (Sea Girl and the Dragon King) deftly pares down the Passover celebration to its most basic concepts. "This is our night for coming together," she begins, then, retaining the same sentence construction, she intro-duces "the plate for teaching," the "pillows for leaning," the haggadah ("the story for telling"), etc. It's Roraback's (Red, White and Blue: The Story of the American Flag) unusually spirited illustrations that serve up the storytelling. She pairs close-ups of specific items (e.g., the seder plate) with full-page views of a large, plain-looking family, everyone from grandparents to a baby, all seated at the holiday table, and she keeps the visual rhythm lively by "panning" the table in her different scenes. The characters are determinedly plain√Ąthe beauty here is in the details. Of the "pillows for leaning," for example, one is decorated with an infant Moses among the bulrushes, a couple of fish smiling up at him; when the "story for telling" is introduced, Roraback shows the children putting on a Passover puppet show for their elders. The compositions are calm but busy, with plenty of background ac-tion: a dog campaigning for handouts, a girl kicking off her party shoes as the evening wears on. Despite the explanatory note at the end, however, terms like "afikomen" and rites like opening the door (for Elijah) go undefined, so that this book is best enjoyed by families who already know the special significance of Passover. Ages 4-8. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

PreS-In one- to two-line phrases, Hildebrandt describes the different things that make up the Passover Seder: "the greens for dipping...the matzah for breaking...the story for telling...the horseradish for tasting...." Unfortunately, there isn't much of a story here; the text is more a list of the different components of the Seder, and they are not worked together into a cohesive whole. There is nothing to hold children who know about the holiday and little to learn for those who don't. The layout works well to enhance what is here, but the characters in the cartoon illustrations are unappealing, with eyes that look as if they have x's over them-like dead people in cartoons. Hildebrandt has made unusual word choices, going from childish terms such as "yummy" to the phrase "the songs of praise for lifting our hearts high." These switches in language make the text read awkwardly, and are unlikely to speak to young children. A note explains the holiday for adults, but it isn't enough to make up for textual weaknesses. Stick with Leslie Kimmelman's Hooray! It's Passover (HarperCollins, 1997), which has more of a story and appealing illustrations.-Amy Lilien, Ferguson Library, Stamford, CT (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.