Easter Eggs and Matzo Balls

Sky Pony. Jan. 2023. 32p. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9781510769229.
K-Gr 2–Concerned for his Jewish stepsister, Michael emails the Easter Bunny to ask him to put something special for Passover in Anna’s Golden Egg on Easter. When Anna’s Passover placemats, then Seder Plate puzzle and Afikomen bag go missing, Michael emails the Easter Bunny again. Both times the Easter Bunny responds, confessing that he put the items in the Golden Egg, but it wouldn’t close. Then, disaster strikes when Aunt Evie realizes that they are completely out of Matzo. But the next day, on Easter, Michael and Anna find the Golden Egg with the missing piece of Matzo, thus saving Passover. The poorly constructed, incoherent, and confusing plot is difficult to follow and raises several questions. How did the matzo fit in the Golden Egg when the other items couldn’t? How did the matzo, a thin cracker that breaks and crumbles easily, manage to stay intact? Why is the book titled Easter Eggs and Matzo Balls, with an appended recipe for matzo ball soup, when matzo balls never appear in the text or illustrations? The other missing Passover items are never recovered; did the Easter Bunny steal them? Families typically purchase several boxes of matzo and wouldn’t run out before the holiday started. Plus, you need more than one piece for the Seder. Phrases such as “he exhaled a puff of thoughts and followed them around the house” and “she emerged with a cloud of frustration” seem too abstract for the intended audience, and the unsophisticated and uninspiring illustrations lack dimension. The glossary includes terms never mentioned in the story: Haggadah, Seder.
VERDICT Readers won’t learn anything about either holiday from this book. Those looking for an authentic and heartwarming depiction of an interfaith and blended family should try Sarah Aronson’s Brand-New Bubbe.

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