Cover image for Is it Passover yet?
Is it Passover yet?
Barash, Chris, author.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Chicago, Illinois : Albert Whitman & Company, 2015.
Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 27 cm
One family prepares for the traditional seder that ushers in Passover.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Central Library J PIC BOOK Juvenile Current Holiday Item Childrens Area-Holiday
Audubon Library J PIC BOOK Juvenile Current Holiday Item Holiday
Clearfield Library J PIC BOOK Juvenile Current Holiday Item Holiday
East Aurora Library J PIC BOOK Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
Eggertsville-Snyder Library J PIC BOOK Juvenile Current Holiday Item Holiday

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It's time to clean the house, set out our best dishes, and fill our homes with food and family to celebrate the joyous holiday of Passover! In this sweet story, join one family as they gather with loved ones to share the joy of togetherness and freedom that Passover brings.

Author Notes

Chris Barash is an elementary school teacher. She lives in the Berkshires of western Massachusetts, where she always looks forward to celebrating Passover with friends and family. This is her first book. Alessandra Psacharopulo lives and works in Milan. She studied fine arts and illustration at Mimaster, where she learned painting and using color.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

A brother and sister help with preparations for the celebration of Passover in their home. Seasonal cues, such as the warm sun melting winter snow and the presence of robins and wrens, signal that the time is near. The children join their parents in cleaning the house and preparing kugel, matzo cake, and charoset. Later, their grandparents and other guests arrive. The rhythmic, rhyming text tells the story simply, while the refrain Passover is on its way marks the end of each section. As they all sit around the table for the seder, the story closes with the line Passover is here! Created with an airy look and a soft, spring palette, the digital illustrations portray the family's activities with clarity and warmth. While many other books explain the significance, symbolism, and biblical associations of the seder, this pleasing picture book simply reflects the experiences of young children as their families prepare for Passover.--Phelan, Carolyn Copyright 2015 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

The first signs of Passover are visual: the blooming, the greenness, a warmer sun. "When we see from the window a robin or wren/ And the squirrels play high up on the trees once again.../ Passover is on its way," writes first-time author Barash. But as the big day approaches, attention shifts indoors, and bystanders become busy participants: "Everyone scurries from room to room" cleaning the house from top to bottom. The fancy dishes are brought out, delicious smells "of kugel and sweet matzo cake and cinnamon" waft from the kitchen, the doorbell heralds the arrival of guests, and soon a tuneful seder is underway. Although some readers may wonder why the pictured seder seems to be starting in mid-afternoon, this is in all other ways a gentle, thoughtful tribute to the joys of being observant in both a secular and religious sense. Psacharopulo's (Jingle Paws) winsome pictures (her chipper, ovoid birds are adorable) and happy, collaborative family speak to a time of year when hope and renewal seem particularly close at hand. Ages 4-7. Illustrator's agency: Good Illustration. (Mar.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

School Library Journal Review

PreS-Gr 1-A simple story about preparations for Passover. Rhymed couplets hint at the holiday, followed by the repeated phrase "Passover is on its way" and finally "Passover is here!" The story ends when the seder begins, and no explanations of the customs are offered. The digital illustrations are cheerful with soft colors and gentle rounded forms; many elements of Judaica appear throughout, from a tzedakah box on a shelf to a "Shalom" doormat. The family depicted is Jewish but not traditional in dress, with men and boys donning kippot only for the seder. While the overall effect is pleasantly anticipatory and the illustrations are charming, there are several ways in which the story trips up. The art repeatedly fails to match the text: the page describing "a bucket and mop or a long handled broom" shows a broom and a vacuum cleaner, with a mop appearing two pages later. The words "When the sun's getting low and the doorbell stops ringing" are accompanied by images of people approaching the door on a bright day, not yet having rung the bell. This couplet ends with "And everyone's ready for stories and singing" but the family is not ready for these activities, as they are greeting relatives who have not even removed their coats. Worst of all, the book closes with the lines "When the Seder is ready and candles are lit/And Nana's shown everyone just where to sit.../Passover is here!" This text is accompanied by images showing lighted candles at an empty table and a mom bringing in the seder plate. This is incorrect Passover procedure. Those following a hagaddah know that the seder plate should already be on the table and all should be seated before the candles are lighted as the opening act of the seder. VERDICT Despite the book's charms, the inconsistencies in illustration make it hard to recommend.-Heidi Estrin, Congregation B'nai Israel, Boca Raton, FL (c) Copyright 2015. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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