Review: The Passover Lamb by Linda Elovitz Marshall

passover lamb

The Passover Lamb by Linda Elovitz Marshall, illustrated by Tatjana Mai-Wyss

Miriam has been selected to sing the Four Questions at the seder, the special Passover meal, at her grandparent’s house.  She has been practicing over and over again.  When she discovers that Snowball, one of their ewes, is going to have a baby, the family wonders if it will disrupt their Passover plans.  Snowball has her lambs in time, but her third lamb is ignored and she refuses to nurse him.  Miriam is very worried for the little lamb, but also wants to head to the seder and sing her part.  So she comes up with a clever plan to care for the newborn lamb and be able to be with her extended family.  This Passover story is a gentle reminder about compassion and a beautiful introduction to Passover.

Marshall writes with a gentleness that weaves throughout the entire story.  She allows Miriam to really be the center of the story, her family members are important but Miriam is certainly the lead.  She is the one who discovers that the ewe is going to have a baby, bottle feeds the newborn lamb and figures out the solution, all on her own.  This is child-led compassion that comes from a deep and natural place.

Mai-Wyss’ art is done in watercolors. The results are rich and colorful, nicely capturing a small family farm.  Just as with the text, Miriam is often front and center in the illustrations.

A superb book about caring and compassion, this is a strong addition to any public library.  Appropriate for ages 4-6.

Reviewed from copy received from Random House Books for Young Readers.

Review–In Like a Lion Out Like a Lamb by Marion Dane Bauer


In Like a Lion Out Like a Lamb by Marion Dane Bauer, illustrated by Emily Arnold McCully

Bauer has created a poetic picture book that explores the concept of March coming in like a lion and going  out like a lamb.  A lion enters a boy’s home and tromps mud across the floor.  But when the air turns warmer, the lion sneezes mightily.  On that breeze, a lamb comes in and the grass turns green.  But what will happen to the snowy lion now that spring has arrived?  Will he disappear?  Not him!  Meanwhile, the lamb is frolicking and bringing in new babies to greet the spring.

The verse is light and free, creating a poetic, friendly picture book for young children.  The idea of the lion not leaving, but instead lingering in a warm patch of sun and purring is a lovely one.  While the lamb is breezy and light, the lion asleep happily is what lingers with me afterwards, waiting for winter to return.

McCully’s art echoes the freedom of the verse and the lightness of the subject.  She uses a light touch on her lines, a freedom in her colors, and a lushness as spring returns. 

Welcome spring and the end of March with this book and hope along with all of us in Wisconsin that the snow will finally come to an end!  Appropriate for ages 4-6.

Reviewed from copy received from Holiday House.

Also reviewed by BooksForKidsBlog.