Monday, April 10, 2017

PICTURE BOOK - The Longest Night: A Passover Story by Laurel Snyder

Illustrated by Catia Chien
2013, Schwartz & Wade Books
HC & price
32 pgs.
Goodreads rating: 3.84 - 102 ratings
My rating: 4
Endpapers:  Front: Very dark blue sky
Back:  Light Blue morning sky

1st line/s:  "Every morning with the light
Came another day like night."

My comments:  This is a Jewish story, read and interpreted by a non-Jew, but a non-Jew who worked in a Hebrew Day School for 12 years and loved to learn all the stories and traditions of Judaism.  This story is written in couplets, with lovely rhythm in most places.  It tells the story from the point-of-view of a Jewish slave girl through the plagues and parting of the sea.  The language is beautiful, and when slowly and digested I loved it.  I was not a fan of the illustrations, and I hate saying that, but they were what I call "vague" illustrations.  Not abstract, but with a sense of abstractness.  I love abstract painting, but I like more detail in my picture books.  Personal preference, apologies to Ms. Chien.

Goodreads:  Here's a picture book for all Jewish families to read while celebrating Passover. Unlike other Passover picture books that focus on the contemporary celebration of the holiday, or are children's haggadahs, this gorgeous picture book in verse follows the actual story of the Exodus. Told through the eyes of a young slave girl, author Laurel Snyder and illustrator Catia Chien skillfully and gently depict the story of Pharoah, Moses, the 10 plagues, and the parting of the Red Sea in a remarkably accessible way. 
          "Evocative and beautiful... flawlessly evokes the spirit of the Old Testament story," raves Publishers Weekly in a starred review. This dramatic adventure, set over 3,500 years ago, of a family that endures hardships and ultimately finds freedom is the perfect tool to help young children make sense of the origins of the Passover traditions.

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