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Children's Books

Abuelita's Secret MatzahsAbuelita's Secret Matzahs

by Sandy Eisenberg Sasso
Publication: Clerisy Press, 2005

Ages 4-8

 

Jacobo loves to visit his grandmother in Santa Fe, especially at Easter, when they hunt for eggs and go to church. After making friends with David, a Jewish boy, and attending a family Passover seder, Jacobo notices similarities to things his grandmother does--for example, she doesn't eat pork. Abuelita tells him that "long ago" his Jewish family escaped the Spanish Inquisition, and fearing persecution in America, they kept their Jewish identity secret, choosing to pass on their family history to just one person in each generation--as Abuelita is doing to Jacob. It may be hard for the picture-book audience to imagine fifteenth-century Spain, but the connection with Passover brings home the persecution story, and Bryer's pastel folk-art pictures nicely connect the exodus from Egypt with that from Spain and with the loving family in New Mexico now. Parents and kids can talk about the Sephardic history and the identity issues. -- Booklist

 

 

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