The Jewish Eye
More Than Enough
More Than Enough
A Passover Story
By April Halprin Wayland
Illustrated by Katie Kath
Dial Books for Young Readers, 2016
Reviewed by Anna Dogole - December 24, 2015
Hanukkah is behind us, and Purim and Passover are quickly approaching. So, I wanted to give you a heads up on a new book for children that is slated to be released in March of 2016, and it is currently available for pre-order from many online retailers. It is called More Than Enough: A Passover Story, and it was written by April Halprin Wayland and illustrated by Katie Kath.
The story follows two young children as they help their parents prepare for the Pesach (Passover) Seder. Filled with colorful and illustrations, the text of this story is punctuated with the refrain Dayenu. This word, Dayenu, means "it would have been enough (sufficient)." It is used in the song of the same name to highlight the fact that each of the gifts or miracles of the Exodus would, on their own, have been enough. Yet God blessed the Jewish people with more than was necessary, freed them from slavery in Egypt, and set them on the path back to their homeland.
Dayenu is a joyful, upbeat, and energetic song, as is this book! Readers of all ages will enjoy following the adventures of the children in this story as they shop with their mother, adopt a kitten, taste the rain, help cook the Seder meal, and celebrate the Passover holiday with their extended family. Along the way they learn a little bit about the symbolism of the varied foods served at the Seder, and about some of the fun rituals such as the searching for the afikomen and making the Prophet Elijah welcome at the Seder. All in all, the children in the story have a delightful time, as will children 'on the outside' as they read, or reread, the story More Than Enough.
In addition to the energetic illustrations and riveting story, this book also includes a handy glossary that will explain the story of Passover, and some of the words in the text, in greater detail for those not already familiar with them. You'll also find the first stanza and chorus of the song, along with the accompanying musical notations at the end of the book. (Dayenu is a 'long' song as it contains fifteen stanzas!) If you are interested in finding complete words to the song, in English or in Hebrew, you can find it online simply by searching for the words: Dayenu and Lyrics. Add the word 'music' to the search and you'll also come across many options for downloading the sheet music for the song. Many editions of the Passover Haggadah (a combination prayer book and story book used during the Passover Seder) contain the words to this song.
More Than Enough is a great book to enhance your young children's knowledge and enjoyment of the Passover, to introduce non-Jewish children to this holiday, and as a year-round book to encourage the love of reading in pre and early readers.
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