THE MATZAH THAT PAPA BROUGHT HOME
Illustrated by Ned Bittinger
An Ala Notable Childrenšs Book
Format: Paperback, 32pp.
Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
Pub. Date: February 2001
This is the matzah that Papa brought home. This is the feast
that Mama made with the matzah that Papa brought home..." In
lively cumulative verse, inspired by THE HOUSE THAT JACK BUILT
and HAD GADYA, the author takes readers through a rollicking
How I came to write this book
When I was a child, nobody told me what the seder was about.
My father stood at the head of the table, holding a glass of
wine and talking in Hebrew, a language that I didn't understand.
All I knew about Passover was that I was to take salami-and-matzah
sandwiches to school. So I wrote this book to offer young
children of today a child's eye-view of their family's seder. It
tells them all they need to know about the holiday, in a lively
format. The book can be read before Passover, as well as during
the seder. In fact, some people have sung it at seders!
"A lyrical treasure that deserves a place in every family's
library. This book would be a memorable gift for the finder of
the afikoman. ...the rhyme and repetition of this enchanting
text is enhanced by magnificent illustrations reminiscent of
John Singer Sargeant...The warmth, beauty, and dignity of Jewish
family life is celebrated throughout. this most magnificent
"Manushkin constructs a "House That Jack Built" version of
the celebration: This is the Passover Seder we shared to eat
the feast that Mama made with the matzah that Papa brought
home. Her cumulative text deserves applause--the rhymes remain
easy and unforced and Bittinger's character studies are gems:
from the glowing face of the daughter clutching her Haggadah to the evocation of the plagues of Egypt to the
study of many hands grasping at the feast table's bounty, these are
illustrations to savor."
"A charming rephrasing of the traditional cumulative song
Had Gadya that captures all the excitement, magic,
inspiration, high jinks, and eventual exhaustion of a family
celebrating a Passover Seder. A unique, lively offering."
School Library Journal
"The sprightly text of this cumulative Passover tale is
simple and lively enough for even the youngest child to enjoy.
The book conveys the feeling of closeness and community
engendered by the celebration, which Bittinger adeptly captures
in double-page-spread oil paintings that glow as brightly as the
candles on the seder table"
Here are a few sketches
and finished art by Ned Bittinger
as well as photos of us together.
Click the thumbnails for a closer view of each.