Friday, April 3, 2015

Book Review: 'The Matzah Man' by Naomi Howland

✰✰✰✰½ In preparation for the seder, a local baker is making Passover matzah. He uses the last scraps of matzah dough to form a little man and pops him in the oven to bake. When the baker opens the oven door, the crispy Matzah Man jumps out and runs away. Taunting people and animals along the way, the Matzah Man narrowly escapes becoming part of the Passover meal. He outwits them all until he meets young Mendel Fox. The Matzah Man is in for a big surprise when clever Mendel offers to help him hide from his pursuers.

The Bottom Line: This humorous and festive tale is a rollicking adaptation of The Gingerbread Boy. This adventure is just plain fun to read with Howland’s use of repetition, rhythm, and rhyme. Additionally, Howland’s cheerful and bright illustrations in gouache and cut-paper collage with colored pencil will appeal to readers of all ages. Check this one out for kids in grades 1 – 3. Includes a “Passover Glossary” at the end.

Details: The Matzah Man: A Passover Story written & illustrated by Naomi Howland. Hardcover picture book published by Clarion Books in 2002. 32 p. ISBN: 0-618-11750-4

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