Review: Meet the Matzah

Meet the Matzah: A Sort-of Passover Story

written and illustrated by Alan Silberberg

Viking (imprint of Penguin Random House)

Category: Picture Books
Reviewer: Freidele Galya Soban Biniashvili

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In author / illustrator Alan Silberberg’s Meet the Matzah, Alfie Koman is a matzah who likes to hide. His classmates include Challah Louyah, Na’ancy, Bun and Bun and others. His teacher, Mrs. Crust, has called on him to tell the Passover story and although Alfie attempts to tell the story, Loaf, another classmate, overruns him. Loaf tells his version of the Passover story, that includes the evil Pha-Roach and the Ten Plagues, some of which are No Wi-Fi, Early Bedtime, Broccoli for Dessert and Indoor Recess Forever. Along the lines of a sub-plot of bullying, Alfie manages to regain control of the situation away from Loaf and turns him into a friend, in a most satisfying way.

Written in a combination of both text and cartoon bubbles, Meet the Matzah miraculously manages to convey the Passover story amidst all its humor, both obvious and subtle. A glossary at the end explains the terms The Seder, Afikoman, Dayenu, Haggadah and The Seder Plate (Charoset, Chazeret, Karpas, Maror, Roasted Egg and Shankbone), rounding out this Passover book that will keep both adults and children thoroughly entertained.
Editors' Note: This title was named a Spring 2021 Holiday Highlights book by the Association of Jewish Libraries.

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Reviewer Freidele Galya Soban Biniashvili is the author of several books for children including THE MYSTERY OF THE LOST WATCH, I LOVE MATZAH, THERE’S A REASON WHY!, and GOLDIE AND THE GUESTS. She lives in Toronto, Canada with her husband, a children’s book illustrator, and their team of future writers and illustrators. (Bio illustration courtesy of Michael Biniashvili.)