The Passover holiday commemorates the Exodus. It's important, therefore, for our children to know what the Exodus was and how it affects Jewish people. But how do we go about teaching them?
Of course, children's books are a great place to start. As children’s author and blogger Amy Meltzer points out, however, “you’ll find that half of the children’s Passover books are about fluffy (or not-so-fluffy) matzoh balls, while the other half talk about throwing babies into the Nile river.”
What about the Exodus?
According to Meltzer, there are PJ Library books that will help evoke in your children a sense of what the Exodus involved, and you will want to check them out.
Nachshon Who Was Afraid to Swim by Deborah Bodin Cohen is one that Meltzer offers as an example. The book, she writes, “stands out as an exception—a wonderful book for helping our children imagine making the frightening journey by foot to the Promised Land.”
In her blog post, “Yuvi’s Candy Tree: An Interview with Author Lesley Simpson,” Meltzer points to this book as another for helping kids imagine this type of journey.
Thousands of PJ Library families received Yuvi’s Candy Tree by Lesley Simpson this month (April 2011) because, as Meltzer explains, the book tells the story of a little girl’s extraordinary journey to Israel to escape the famine and fear of Ethiopia.
As it so happens, Simpson, author of Yuvi's Candy Tree, talked about this very topic as an interviewee on the Book of Life podcast series.
In the podcast, Simpson explains why she believes Yuvi's Candy Tree is a story that helps children conceptualize the Exodus. The book is "about defying the odds and believing in a world that you haven't yet seen," Simpson says. Use the player below to listen to Simpson talk about her book:
April 14, 2011