Cover image for Pearl's passover : a family celebration through stories, recipes, crafts, and songs
Pearl's passover : a family celebration through stories, recipes, crafts, and songs
Zalben, Jane Breskin.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, [2002]

Physical Description:
48 pages : color illustrations, color map, music ; 26 cm
As an extended family prepares for their Passover celebration, they explain the various customs and traditions related to this holiday. Includes various related activities.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
BM695.P3 Z35 2002 Juvenile Current Holiday Item Holiday
BM695.P3 Z35 2002 Juvenile Current Holiday Item Holiday
BM695.P3 Z35 2002 Juvenile Non-Fiction Holiday

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It's time for Passover and Pearl and her brother, Avi, are helping to prepare the house for company. Grandma, Grandpa, Aunt Rachel, Uncle Solly, and "the two terrors from Teaneck," cousins Harry and Sophie, are coming to spend the holiday at Pearl's house. Pearl frets about getting along with her cousins. Her brother, Avi, is anxious about reciting the Four Questions at the Seder. But as soon as the guests arrive, Pearl and her cousins are too busy baking matzoh, making Passover place cards, matzoh covers, and preparing the Seder plate to worry about anything. As Pearl's family comes together for Passover, she learns the importance of family and faith and finds out that the real meaning of the holiday only grows stronger when it is shared with loved ones.
Jane Breskin Zalben's intricately detailed, jewel-like illustrations are a delight to the eye and evoke the warmth and joy of Passover. Easy-to-follow instructions and recipes are included for each activity, making this ideal for families who want to include their children in their holiday festivities.

Author Notes

Jane Breskin Zalben was born in New York City, where she attended the High School of Music and Art. She received a B.A. in art from Queens College, and then went on to study lithography at the Pratt Graphics Center. She is a well-known author and illustrator who has published about fifty books for young readers.

Jane's began her career as a graphic designer and worked for several New York publishing houses, including Scribner's, where she was the art director of children's books. A book designer as well as an artist, she is as concerned with type and layout as she is with illustration.

Ms. Zalben has been involved in many workshops, including "A Sense of Wonderment: Children's Book Illustration" at the Heckscher Museum in Huntington, New York, and exhibits at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Justin Schiller Gallery (where she was given a show of her work along with Maurice Sendak), Every Picture Tells a Story, Elizabeth Stone Gallery, Bush Gallery, and the American Institute of Graphics Art Show.

Jane was a writer/artist-in-residence at Vassar's Publishing Institute and was on the faculty of the School of Visual Arts in New York City for eighteen years, where she taught courses in the illustration, design, and writing of children's books. She was a recent chair of the Society of Illustrator's The Original Art Exhibition.

Zalben's acclaimed picture books and novels explore basic issues of friendship, family, self-reliance, and inner strength. Beni's First Chanukah, the first in a series of Jewish Holiday books for children, was inspired by and dedicated to her sons, Alexander and Jonathan.

Jane Breskin Zalben devotes her time to her work and to traveling around the world lecturing on children's books and encouraging children and aspiring artists and writers.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Ages 5-8. This is the fourth in Zalben's series of Jewish holiday books featuring a family of sheep, including little lamb Pearl. Here the connection between characters and holiday is a bit awkward, since lamb's blood is a significant part of the Passover story, a fact not mentioned in the text. Passover is a family time, and though Pearl and her brother aren't too keen on their visiting cousins, they are happy to prepare for the important holiday. The book is organized in an interesting fashion. Chapters on some aspect of the holiday--making matzo, clearing the house of any food with yeast--is followed by several pages of activities, songs, and recipes that will require adult help. Zalben's art, as in previous books, is delicate and sweet yet laced with humor. Besides getting a look at a traditional Passover and how it is celebrated (including such important elements as the order of the seder), this is also a playful look at family dynamics that shows how even the best holidays can be touched by rivalry among relatives. --Ilene Cooper

School Library Journal Review

K-Gr 3-A large family, neighbors, and a rabbi (all portrayed in loving domestic detail as sheep) play a role in the stories, recipes, crafts, and songs featured here. Zalben individualizes her characters through humorous touches that make the rather large cast easy to distinguish. The colored-pencil and watercolor illustrations of the vignettes are charming, and those that accompany the clear directions given for crafts and cooking are both helpful and inviting. Children will enjoy reading about Pearl and Avi and their twin cousins, Sophie and Harry ("the two terrors from Teaneck"); adults will appreciate the way that essential information about the history, meaning, and customs of Passover is interwoven throughout the stories and activities. Similar to Pearl's Eight Days of Chanukah (S & S, 1998), this book will be welcome in religious and secular libraries.-Linda R. Silver, Jewish Education Center of Cleveland, OH (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.