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The Longest Night: A Passover Story

Here's a picture book for all Jewish families to read while celebrating Passover. Unlike other Passover picture books that focus on the contemporary celebration of the holiday, or are children's haggadahs, this gorgeous picture book in verse follows the actual story of the Exodus. Told through the eyes of a young slave girl, author Laurel Snyder and illustrator Catia Chien skillfully and gently depict the story of Pharoah, Moses, the 10 plagues, and the parting of the Red Sea in a remarkably accessible way. "Evocative and beautiful... flawlessly evokes the spirit of the Old Testament story," raves Publishers Weekly in a starred review. This dramatic adventure, set over 3,500 years ago, of a family that endures hardships and ultimately finds freedom is the perfect tool to help young children make sense of the origins of the Passover traditions.

Hardcover: 40 pages

Publisher: Schwartz & Wade (February 12, 2013)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 0375869425

ISBN-13: 978-0375869426

Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.3 x 10.3 inches

Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)

Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)

Best Sellers Rank: #321,809 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #58 in Books > Children's Books > Holidays & Celebrations > Jewish #127 in Books > Children's Books > Literature & Fiction > Religious Fiction > Jewish #2565 in Books > Children's Books > Religions

Age Range: 4 - 8 years

Grade Level: Preschool - 3

I was very pleased with this poetic collaboration of word and picture -- particularly since so many children (even readers) "read" the pictures attentively when listening to a picture book. From a palpable sense of what it might have been like to be a child slave to the final moments of light, open space and dancing, for me this was an enormously powerful story of the experienced plagues, an escape, and new found freedom. The illustration on the back cover of the jacket could have been an underground railroad illustration which deftly connects the Biblical exodus with an American story. I purchased the book for use in our church's Storyteller Time which pairs a picture book with that Sunday's lectionary. I look forward to reading it to our 4 to 8 year old children, overheard by our middle school and adult helpers for whom it will also be meaningful.

As a child, Laurel Snyder listened each year to the story of the Exodus as she sat at her family’s Seder table. She oftentimes wondered what it would be like to live during that time period. In this artistic and original book, Laurel offers her creative interpretation of living as a Jewish child during the time of Moses. Her rhyming verse provides a steady pace. Full-page acrylic paintings by Catia grace each page. The dark muted illustrations enhance the serious nature of the story. If you are looking for a different approach to Passover, this book is a wonderful option. It could be read together with David Adler’s The Passover Seder. Children could see how the same story could be seen from different points of view.

This is a nice little book presenting a small girl's view of her life in Egypt and then what she saw during Passover and the Exodus. It is told in almost a dreamy way. The pictures are lovely, like pastel drawings.This way of telling the Passover story might draw a child into what happened. What it doesn't do is specifically tell the story of the Passover.There are a few words of vocabulary, but one would have to know the background in order to understand fully what the little girl is describing.

This is a beautiful poem -- a picture book with resonance for adults. A wonderful gift for Passover -- and beyond, too. It's simply incredibly written.

Gorgeous, evocative illustrations and a beautiful retelling of the story. My boys, 3 and almost 5, paid rapt attention. Not explicitly religious, which may be a pro or con depending on what you're looking for.

Most retellings of Biblical stories for children fall into one of two camps: either reducing it to a silly and often vapid tale or staying true to the text but boring the child. Laurel Snyder's THE LONGEST NIGHT delves so deeply into the story of the slavery in Egypt and the Exodus that you can almost taste the grit and sand, feel the mist of the sea as it parts to let the Israelites leave.Told from the point of a view of a child, we are exposed to a front seat view of the desperation of the slaves, the fear and curiosity as the plagues strike, and the eventual jubilation as the child and the slaves rush to freedom. Synder's rich poetry ensures that the emotions are real and intense, and Catia Chien's striking watercolors compliment the text beautiful. This book is ideal for any family who wants to take seriously the idea that at the Passover seder, we should imagine ourselves as having personally left Egypt.However, while the subtitle calls THE LONGEST NIGHT "A Passover Story," I believe it is much more than that. With the reality of slavery and child labor in our world, Snyder's story is a great conversation starter for older children that will be relevant long past the seder nights.

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