The Longest Night: A Passover Story

The Longest Night: A Passover Story
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Release Date
February 12, 2013
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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.

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.

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Ever since I first learned of the story of the Passover (much later than most--at age 19!) I have been enchanted with it. When I saw the cover of this book, told from the perspective of a Jewish girl, I knew I had to read it to my daughters. The poetry is simple but evocative, and the paintings capture the mystery and trepidation that everyone must have felt enduring and observing the ten plagues that fell on the Egyptians before Pharoah set the Hebrews free. Having the story in poetic format just adds to the wonder of these events that occurred so long ago but are so well-remembered by so many of different faiths every year. My favorite line (which is repeated with excellent effect) encompasses the most incredible miracle of all in seven words:

Till the sea was ripped in two.
Till the sea was ripped in two!

A truly fantastic children's book I will be reading again and again to my kids.
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