By: Mindy Avra Portnoy
Illustrated by: Valeria Cis
Publisher: Kar-Ben Publishing
Publication Date: January 2010
Reviewed by: Deb Fowler
Review Date: March 2010
There were two houses now, well one house and one apartment, where a little girl could go to seder "when mom and dad stopped being married." She could picture both places in her mind's eye when she daydreamed and was thankful that her family had two seders. She now had two bedrooms and a little of this and a little of that at each place. She has her two goldfish at Mom's and Ollie, her beagle, at Dad's. Naturally if your parents have been divorced for three years if you do the math that makes six seders.
That first year was a bit uncomfortable all around and the charoset and the matzah balls suffered at both houses, but she made it through. She wasn't so sure about the seder at Mom's house because everyone "drank more than four cups of wine " except her. Her dream to have her parents back together wasn't going to happen that year. The second year Aunt Evelyn "made some sweet charoset from a Yemenite recipe." Mmmmmmm! It was different at her Dad's because he brought this friend Gail along. At least she brought some grand chocolate lollipops. There was Grandpa Stan who fell asleep in a chair, Gabe 'n Lisa and baby Zach, but no Mom. She sang The Four Questions again. What was going to happen on the fifth and sixth seders? Was her dream ever going to come true or would seder always be a sad time for her? How could a little girl be grateful when the Dayenu was sung if her parents weren't together?
This is a pensive story of one little girl's dreams and the difficulties of celebrating seder after her parents divorced. When parents separate or divorce it can be an incredibly sad and difficult transition for everyone in the family, especially the children who are often overlooked. I liked the thoughtful way the book subtly addresses how the family worked carefully to make sure their little girl was emotionally secure without dismissing her feelings. In the back of the book are four charoset recipes (Yemenite, Israeli, traditional Ashkenazi and Italian) and a comprehensive glossary.
Quill says: An excellent learning experience about seder and the simple, but appealing artwork added much to it.