Welcoming Elijah by Leslea Newman

Welcoming Elijah by Leslea Newman

Welcoming Elijah by Leslea Newman, illustrated by Susan Gal (9781580898829)

In a warm, brightly lit home, a Seder is about to start. Outside sits a lonely kitten, looking at the festivities through the window. Guests arrive to the Seder and it begins lit by candles that glow out into the dark night where the kitten sits. The boy washes his hands, dips parsley into salt water, breaks matzo, and listens to the tale of the Israelites leaving Egypt. Outside, the kitten washes his paws, eats a wet blade of grass, drinks from a puddle, and waits. Songs are sung inside and the kitten mewls outdoors. Finally, the door is opened for the prophet Elijah to enter, bringing peace. When the boy opens the door, there is the white kitten who found a home and a name, Elijah.

Newman’s text moves back and forth between the Seder and the darkness outside, cleverly tying the two together in small moments that echo one another. The beauty and solemnity of the Seder works in harmony with the beauty of the night outside and yet contrasts against it as well with the lone kitten and the house full of people. The text is simple and graceful, completed by an Author’s Note that offers more details about Passover, Seders and Ellijah.

The illustrations are done in ink, charcoal and digital collage. They use warm yellows for the indoor Seder and blues and blacks for the night outside. Readers will glimpse the indoor scenes from the kitten’s perspective as well as the darkness outside from inside the home. That connection is maintained throughout the book.

A lovely Passover book with whiskers. Appropriate for ages 2-4.

Reviewed from e-galley provided by Charlesbridge.

News to Wake Your Brain Cells, March 6


7 awe-inspiring children’s books to celebrate Women’s History Month – NBC News

10 nonfiction children’s books that humanize mathematics – KQED

11 book series from your childhood you may not have realized are still releasing books – Mental Flossj

21 fascinating and fun bilingual children’s books – Book Riot

2020 books by Newbery winners – 100 Scope Notes

Betsy Byars, author of ‘The Summer of the Swans’ and other children’s classics, dies at 91 – Washington Post

Children are reading less than ever before, research reveals – The Guardian

How a classic children’s book got hijacked by the culture wars – Slate

How I managed to raise a little bookworm in the age of smartphones and tablets – The Guardian

How Ramona Quimby taught a generation of girls to embrace brashness – LitHub

Q & A with Linda Sue Park – Publishers Weekly

Sydney Smith, Ashleigh Corrin Win 2020 Ezra Jack Keats Awards – School Library Journal

Tears at bedtime: are children’s books on environment causing climate anxiety? – The Guardian


Libraries could preserve ebooks forever, but greedy publishers won’t let them – Gizmodo

This beautiful modern library is for fans of shiny things – Daily Beast