cover image A Persian Passover

A Persian Passover

Etan Basseri, illus. by Rashin Kheiriyeh. Kalaniot, $19.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-73508-756-6

“Many years ago, in a small town in Iran,” siblings Ezra and Roza help their parents prepare for the seder. The traditional cleaning is underway, the ingredients for hallaq—the Persian version of charoset, made from dates, raisins, and nuts—are assembled, and the children are charged with taking the family’s sack of flour to the synagogue’s community oven, where teams of bakers transform it into matzah. All does not go smoothly when the children apply their fondness for timing things (Ezra’s speed, the matzah’s making) to another event, but the duo’s misadventures provide an opportunity to wander through a bustling, friendly neighborhood, with stops at a local market that end in ample takeaways for the seder. Kheiriyeh’s cut paper, pencil-detailed characters, who have brown skin, rosy cheeks, and eager-eyed expressions, resemble those of hinged paper puppets set in scenes bright with blues, reds, and greens. Ages 6–11. (Mar.)