Cover image for Matzah ball soup
Matzah ball soup
Rothenberg, Joan.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Hyperion Books for Children, 1999.
Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : coll. illustrations ; 24 cm
Rosie discovers why there are always four different kinds of matzo balls in the Passover matzo ball soup.

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PIC BK Juvenile Current Holiday Item Childrens Area-Holiday
PIC.BK Juvenile Fiction Picture Books

On Order



Every year at Passover, Rosie's grandma puts four matzah balls in each bowl of chicken soup. But Rosie wants to know, why does she need four of them? So Grandma tells Rosie the funny story of the famous matzah ball contest that occurred many years ago, one that would forever change her view of what was meant by the best matzah ball.Young readers will love finding the hidden matzah in each Seder scene, and then making their own matzah balls with the recipe in the back of the book.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Ages 3^-7. This warm, funny picture book combines a seder celebration with one extended family's special tradition. Grandma explains to Rosie why they each have to have four matzah balls in their chicken soup. Her story goes back to when Grandma's Tanta Tee came as a new immigrant from Hungary to join her three sisters in America. Each sister had her own way of making matzah balls, and, after quarreling and kvetching, they had a contest to see whose were the best. That long-ago holiday celebration, Tanta Tee's first seder in America, connects with the family seder that Rosie and her grandma are attending now, as they go through the four questions, read from the Haggadah, and enjoy the meal. Children will appreciate the comic pictures of the affectionate family dynamics. Of course, there's a recipe at the back--with a variation from each of the four aunts. --Hazel Rochman

School Library Journal Review

K-Gr 3 The eternal matzah-ball debate floaters or sinkers, spicy or bland forms the basis of this Passover tale. As she helps her grandmother prepare for the Seder, Rosie asks why their family always eats chicken soup with four matzah balls in it. Grandma then tells the story behind the family tradition, of the Passover when her mother and three sisters squabbled over whose recipe was truly the best. A contest ensued, with the uncles acting as judges around the Seder table. Of course, it was decided that no meal would be complete without all four varieties of matzah balls in the chicken soup, giving rise to tradition. This tale is best suited for children who know the story of Passover, as parts of the Seder are mentioned but not explained. The pictures are a bit stiff, but capture the nervous aunts and the happy family gathering. The borders around the illustrations are especially effective. A lighthearted companion piece to Fran Manushkin's The Matzah That Papa Brought Home (Scholastic, 1995), offering children a vivid picture of how traditions pass from generation to generation. Martha Link, Louisville Free Public Library, KY (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.