The Night Before Passover

Grosset & Dunlap. (The Night Before). Feb. 2024. 32p. pap. $5.99. ISBN 9780593519837.
PreS-Gr 1–“‘Twas the night before Passover—our kitchen’s super clean. No more bread, no more doughnuts, not a crumb to be seen.” Mom, Dad, and two children clean the house, set the table, and briefly retell the story of the Exodus. Then, after they nestle all snug in their beds “while visions of matzo balls dance in our heads,” they welcome their guests to celebrate the holiday. They dip parsley in salt water, recite the Four Questions, eat dinner, and search for the hidden piece of matzo. None of the other Passover rituals or foods are described, and terms like Haggadah, seder, and haroseth are never explained, limiting the audience to children already familiar with the holiday. Bright, cheery watercolor and digital cartoon illustrations depict a contemporary white family, and the simple rhyming text scans well. Wing’s long-running “The Night Before” series includes over a dozen different holidays.
VERDICT While this might make for a fun read-aloud, it’s an additional purchase for most libraries.

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