Tyrannosaurus Tsuris: A Passover Story

Kar-Ben. Jan. 2024. 24p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781728492377.
PreS-K–Tyrannosaurus is prepared for Passover, but when he tries to invite other dinosaurs to his seder, they all flee. At last, he has a meltdown. Using the Yiddish word for “aggravation” or “troubles,” Tyrannosaurus repeatedly screams, “I have tsuris!” Eventually, the other dinosaurs surround him and ask what is wrong. When he tells them he has no guests for the seder, they decide they will be safe if they all go, and accepting his invitation will solve their problems of being short on seder ingredients. Despite the bizarre premise, the writing is clear and concise, employing repetition and a depiction of a frustrated tantrum that toddlers and parents alike will find relatable. Cartoonish illustrations depict brightly colored dinosaurs with a wooded backdrop. Most are single page or full-bleed spreads; however, Tyrannosaurus’s tsuris pages have him breaking out of a circle with the text running around the edge of it. The dinosaurs are unevenly sized, with a “tiny” dino over half the size of giant Tyrannosaurus. The story includes little information about the holiday, other than some foods, and a seder plate is depicted on the final spread. One sentence in the back matter gives a brief explanation of the holiday and the importance of guests.
VERDICT While Jewish schools and libraries might find a place for this uninspired offering, others can pass.

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