Review: My Family Haggadah

My Family Haggadah

by Shoshana Silberman, illustrated by Hiroe Nakata

Kar-Ben Publishing (imprint of Lerner Publishing Group), 2023

Category: Picture Books
Reviewer: Karin Fisher-Golton

My Family Haggadah is a 14-page board book that uses simple language and engaging illustrations to introduce the youngest readers to the basic concepts of Passover. Starting most sentences with “We” and a verb, author Shoshana Silberman creates a lovely rhythm that is perfect for a holiday with steps in a traditional order. The text includes holiday vocabulary (“matzah,” “afikomen,”); the Hebrew thank you, “todah,” briefly defined by the toddler main character; the Hebrew “Dayenu,” in reference to the beloved holiday song; and the English-Yiddish hybrid word “shluffy” for sleepy (derived from the Yiddish שלאָפֿן/shlofn, to sleep), which is clear in context.

Hiroe Nakata’s illustrations depict a main character toddler boy with warm light-brown skin and tightly curled hair. He shares the meal with an older sister, mother, and father who have similarly curly hair and skin tones in a range of hues. The boy and father are wearing kippot (skullcaps). The color palette is gently bright, fittingly evoking the feel of springtime. Basic elements of the holiday appear, such as a seder plate, candles, matzah, and the afikomen. The main character drinks grape juice from a sippy cup. Sharp-eyed readers will notice other details as well, such as bowls of matzah ball soup, and the publisher’s companion haggadah, A Family Haggadah II.

Families and Jewish preschool teachers will find My Family Haggadah to be an enjoyable way to introduce toddlers and preschoolers to the basic components of the Passover holiday.

Ed. Note: This title was included on the Association of Jewish Libraries Spring 2023 Holiday Highlights list.

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Reviewer Karin Fisher-Golton is a freelance children’s book editor and the author of the board book My Amazing Day: A Celebration of Wonder and Gratitude; retellings of folktales for a reading program; and poems in several anthologies. She is a member of the Board of Advisors for Multicultural Children’s Book Day. Read more about her work at