cover image The Story of Passover

The Story of Passover

David A. Adler, illus. by Jill Weber. Holiday House, $15.95 (32p) ISBN 978-0-8234-2902-8

Hewing closely to the magid (“the telling”) of the Passover story, Adler (who previously teamed up with Weber for The Story of Hanukkah) begins with Jacob’s arrival in Egypt and ends with the Israelites’ jubilant celebration on banks of the Red Sea. There’s a lovely counterpoint between his just-the-facts storytelling (“Should I get you someone to help you with the baby?” Miriam asks Pharaoh’s daughter. “Yes,” she replies) and Weber’s often poignant acrylic artwork, which draws on the exuberant palette and stylized, composite perspective of ancient Egyptian painting. In one of many impressive spreads, the fourth and fifth plague are combined (“Animals ran wild. The Egyptians’ cattle became terribly sick and died”) into a kind of “Peaceable Kingdom” gone off the rails, mixing dead cows with a menagerie of creatures in various states of gleeful rapaciousness. Ages 4–8. (Jan.)