Review: Matzah Man to the Rescue!

Matzah Man to the Rescue!

by Eric A. Kimmel, illustrated by Charlie Fowkes

Apples & Honey Press (imprint of Behrman House), 2024

Category: Picture Books
Reviewer: Julie Ditton

“Never Fear, Matzah Man is here.”

Eric Kimmel is one of the most prolific picture book authors around. With over 150 books to his credit, he has been delighting children for fifty years. Many of his books about Jewish holidays or topics, but most are folktale retellings. Now we have something completely different. Instead of a folktale, he has spun a modern Passover story based on pop culture superheroes. Kids might recognize Superman or Batman, but older family members will recognize Underdog as well.

This wacky book has Matzah Man flying around the world to help save three different seders with missing symbols. Along the way, readers will learn about vegetarian alternatives to the shank bone, varieties of matzah, and the differences between Ashkenazi and Sephardic charoset. Matzah Man couldn’t save the day without his secret weapon: matzah balls as an energy source. This delightful book even has Elijah actually appearing for a change. Artist Charlie Fowkes has provided bright, colorful illustrations in a cartoon style that is appropriate to a superhero picture book. An author’s note describes the significance of Passover and the symbolism behind the shank bone, matzah and charoset.

This book is aimed at 6-to-8 year-olds, but I think that any Jewish child will enjoy this book. Parents and caregivers will appreciate the humor that may escape the little ones. It can also be used in religious schools to launch discussions about Jewish diversity and Passover symbols.

Kimmel is a five-time recipient of the National Jewish Book Award and has been honored with the Sydney Taylor Lifetime Achievement Award. His holiday books have been a staple in Jewish homes for generations. I read some of them to my children every year. This bubbe, will definitely be reading this book aloud this spring and for many years to come. As a Jewish holiday book that highlights Jewish diversity around the world, this charming book fits the criteria for the Sydney Taylor Book Award. 

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Reviewer Julie Ditton posts reviews on her Storybook Lady Facebook page and on Instagram As her name would imply, her favorite genre is Children’s Literature. About half of the picture books that she reviews have Jewish themes. She has a shelf on Goodreads specifically for Jewish Children’s Books and is an active contributor to the Jewish Kidlit Mavens Facebook group.


  1. Wonderful review of a super-fun new addition to Passover storytelling. Would make the perfect afikomen- finder's prize!


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