cover image Sammy Spider's First Passover

Sammy Spider's First Passover

Sylvia Rouss. Kar-Ben Publishing, $7.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-929371-82-5

In this seasonal follow-up to Sammy Spider's First Hanukkah, the eager arachnid's mother teaches him to make a web when theirs is laid waste by a ``monster''--a broom being used to ready the Shapiros' home for Passover. Though Sammy becomes fascinated by his mother's explanations of the holiday traditions, he is repeatedly told, ``Spiders don't celebrate Passover. Spiders spin webs.'' Following instructions, Sammy completes a new web--and participates in the Shapiro family observance after all. Using cut-paper artwork made festive with cheery patterns, Kahn depicts a contemporary human family (complete with kitty), and a mother-son spider duo reminiscent of Eric Carle's creations. Though Rouss's text is lively and informative, her attempts to blend Passover basics with a rudimentary lesson on shapes (the first page terms this ``a book of shapes'') become somewhat jumbled and ultimately water down both aspects of the story. Ages 3-7. (Apr.)