Afikomen

Afikomen

Written by: Cohen, Tziporah
Illustrated by: Eshet, Yaara
ages 3 and up / grades P and up

Honor, Sydney Taylor Book Award

In this wordless time-travel adventure, three children at a Passover seder visit ancient Egypt to help baby Moses find his way safely to Pharaoh’s daughter.

When a family settles at the table for Passover, their dog nabs the afikomen bag (containing matzah used for the seder) and dives under the tablecloth. The children follow him and find themselves transported to ancient Egypt. There, they see baby Moses’ mother and sister Miriam placing him in a reed basket. The baby’s journey down the Nile is hazardous — he encounters several obstacles along the way, including a wily crocodile. Thanks to the three children, he reaches his destination unharmed, with a piece of afikomen tucked into his basket. The children return to the seder table and, exhausted, fall asleep. But what are their parents to make of the grains of sand in the afikomen bag?

Includes an author’s note about the meaning of the Passover holiday and about different afikomen traditions.


Key Text Features

author’s note

explanation

illustrations

literary references

panels

sources

wordless


Correlates to the Common Core States Standards in English Language Arts:

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.K.3

With prompting and support, identify characters, settings, and major events in a story.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.1.3

Describe characters, settings, and major events in a story, using key details.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.1.7

Use illustrations and details in a story to describe its characters, setting, or events.

Honor, Sydney Taylor Book Award

In this wordless time-travel adventure, three children at a Passover seder visit ancient Egypt to help baby Moses find his way safely to Pharaoh’s daughter.

When a family settles at the table for Passover, their dog nabs the afikomen bag (containing matzah used for the seder) and dives under the tablecloth. The children follow him and find themselves transported to ancient Egypt. There, they see baby Moses’ mother and sister Miriam placing him in a reed basket. The baby’s journey down the Nile is hazardous — he encounters several obstacles along the way, including a wily crocodile. Thanks to the three children, he reaches his destination unharmed, with a piece of afikomen tucked into his basket. The children return to the seder table and, exhausted, fall asleep. But what are their parents to make of the grains of sand in the afikomen bag?

Includes an author’s note about the meaning of the Passover holiday and about different afikomen traditions.


Key Text Features

author’s note

explanation

illustrations

literary references

panels

sources

wordless


Correlates to the Common Core States Standards in English Language Arts:

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.K.3

With prompting and support, identify characters, settings, and major events in a story.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.1.3

Describe characters, settings, and major events in a story, using key details.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.1.7

Use illustrations and details in a story to describe its characters, setting, or events.

Published By Groundwood Books Ltd — Mar 7, 2023
Specifications 32 pages | 9 in x 9 in
Written By

TZIPORAH (TZIPPY) COHEN was born and raised in New York and spent eighteen years in Boston before landing in Canada, where she now lives with her family. Many years after graduating from Harvard Medical School, she received an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts. She now splits her time between writing and working as an oncology/palliative care psychiatrist.

Tzippy’s debut middle-grade novel No Vacancy won the Jean Little First-Novel Award and was a Sydney Taylor Award honor and a National Jewish Book Award finalist.

Illustrated by

YAARA ESHET was born in Israel and studied at the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design in Jerusalem. She has illustrated more than thirty books for readers of all ages, including Journey Around the Sun: The Story of Halley’s Comet by James Gladstone, which received starred reviews from Kirkus and Quill and Quire. She has exhibited her art in galleries and museums, in solo and group exhibitions, in Israel and Canada. Yaara lives with her family and cats in Toronto, Ontario.

Written By

TZIPORAH (TZIPPY) COHEN was born and raised in New York and spent eighteen years in Boston before landing in Canada, where she now lives with her family. Many years after graduating from Harvard Medical School, she received an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts. She now splits her time between writing and working as an oncology/palliative care psychiatrist.

Tzippy’s debut middle-grade novel No Vacancy won the Jean Little First-Novel Award and was a Sydney Taylor Award honor and a National Jewish Book Award finalist.

Illustrated by

YAARA ESHET was born in Israel and studied at the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design in Jerusalem. She has illustrated more than thirty books for readers of all ages, including Journey Around the Sun: The Story of Halley’s Comet by James Gladstone, which received starred reviews from Kirkus and Quill and Quire. She has exhibited her art in galleries and museums, in solo and group exhibitions, in Israel and Canada. Yaara lives with her family and cats in Toronto, Ontario.

Audience ages 3 and up / grades P and up
Key Text Features

author’s note; explanation; illustrations; literary references; panels; sources; wordless

Common Core CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.1.3
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.K.3
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.1.7

Commended, Sydney Taylor Book Award — Honor, 2024

Commended, Horn Book Fanfare, 2023

Passover magic.

” —Kirkus

This wordless Passover time travel adventure is beautifully illustrated in ink and watercolor. … Eshet vividly depicts both ancient and contemporary settings and practices. … Afikomen should be a number one pick.

” —CM: Canadian Review of Materials

A generally lighthearted tale, but one that nods at the more serious history behind the holiday and at the concept of reliving the Jewish enslavement on Passover. STARRED REVIEW

” —Horn Book

Children familiar with the story of Passover … will delight in ­decoding the ­pictures, looking for hidden clues, and ­retelling the tale.

” —School Library Journal

Sweet and fun.

” —Booklist

Even readers unfamiliar with the tale will find themselves drawn in by Eshet’s lyrical ink and watercolor drawings.

” —Publishers Weekly

Unique, comic-style wordless picture book.

” —Calgary Herald

The illustrations are beautifully drawn. 

” —Quebec Library Association