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Pre-K

Growing Reader

8 Picture Books to Help Kids Prepare for Passover

by Liz Lesnick

passover-books

For many Jews, myself included, Passover is a favorite holiday. Instead of going to synagogue, we celebrate at home with family and friends, gathering around the Seder table to re-live the story of the Jewish people’s Exodus from Egypt. We celebrate through prayers, songs, and, most of all, food. It takes a lot of preparation to get ready, such as cleaning out any trace of chametz (leavened bread) from the house, cooking special dishes for the Seder, and getting the kids ready for the holiday. Here are some of my favorite books to help the youngest celebrants get excited for Passover.

  • It’s Passover, Grover!

    by Jodie Shepherd, illustrated by Joe Mathieu

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    Grover’s hosting Seder this year, and the guests keep pouring in. Fortunately, the traditional Passover invitation — “Let all who are hungry come and eat” — ensures room for everyone. Stickers and a press-out card game make this one an extra fun addition to the holiday festivities.
    (Ages 2 – 5)

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  • My First Passover

    by Tomie dePaola

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    Through simple text and charming illustrations, Tomie de Paola answers the cornerstone question of every Seder: “Why is this night different from all other nights?” This adorable board book is the perfect gift for even the littlest Seder-goers.
    (Ages 3 – 5)

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  • More Than Enough

    by April Halprin Wayland, illustrated by Katie Kath

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    More Than Enough has all of the hallmarks of a classic picture book: a simple story, captivating illustrations, and a timeless message. The title comes from the English translation of “Dayenu,” a beloved Passover song (and notorious earworm, if you ask my uncle). As readers follow a mother and her young children doing errands to prepare for the Seder, they will learn about gratitude for the freedom we have today.
    (Ages 3 – 5)

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  • The Passover Mouse

    by Joy Nelkin Wieder, illustrated by Shahar Kober

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    Inspired by a passage in the Talmud, this charming and witty Passover story features a little mouse who disrupts a town’s preparations for the holiday when it steals a piece of chametz just as all the houses have been swept clean. Weaving together themes of kindness, community, tradition, charity, and forgiveness, it is a modern holiday classic.
    (Ages 3 – 7)

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  • The Passover Guest

    by Susan Kusel, illustrated by Sean Rubin

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    I love The Passover Guest — not only because it’s a sweet story with enchanting illustrations but also because its historical Depression-era Washington, D.C. setting makes it different from most Passover stories. In this beautifully reimagined classic story for young readers, Muriel gives her last coin to a strange magician, sparking a special visit from Elijah the Prophet during her family’s Passover Seder. What transpires next is absolutely magical.
    (Ages 4 – 8)

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  • Pippa's Passover Plate

    by Vivian Kirkfield, illustrated by Jill Weber

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    Rollicking rhymes and vibrant illustrations combine to make Pippa's Passover Plate a wonderful holiday read-aloud for kids. When Pippa realizes she's misplaced her Seder plate, she must bravely ask her frightening neighbors for help. A cute story that shows the special significance of the Seder plate and the six items that generally go on it.
    (Ages 4 – 8)

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  • The Story of Passover

    by David A. Adler, illustrated by Jill Weber

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    This kid-friendly version of the Passover story has bright, lively illustrations that are sure to captivate young children. (If they’re anything like mine, they’ll especially love the depictions of the ten plagues.) Some vivid images might be scary and some of the vocabulary may be unfamiliar to the littlest readers, so I recommend reading this one together.
    (Ages 4 – 8)

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  • Welcoming Elijah

    by Leslea Newman, illustrated by Susan Gal

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    As a boy and his family move through the rituals of Seder, a tiny kitten wanders through the dark and windy streets alone. In lush, atmospheric illustrations, the boy and the kitten appear to mimic each other — and then, as the boy throws open the front door for the prophet Elijah (his favorite part of the celebration), the two finally come face to face.
    (Ages 5 – 8)

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Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in 2016 and updated in 2021.