Grover and Big Bird’s Passover Celebration
Written by Tilda Balsley and Ellen Fischer
Illustrated by Tom Leigh
Passover is a holiday that many students may have heard of in church or from their Jewish friends, but without instruction, it is impossible to understand the very rich historical significance of this ancient celebration. Grover and Big Bird’s Passover Celebration is a nice way for students to dip into learning about the Passover Feast called seder.
Follow familiar friends Big Bird and Grover on their way to seder at a Jewish friend’s home. Along the way, readers learn Hebrew greetings and other vocabulary relevant to Passover, such as boker tov, shalom, and mitzvot. Though this book does not delve into the meaning of the traditions of “The Four Questions” or “finding the afikomen,” simply by reading about familiar characters participating in these activities, students will want to dive into some research to better understand the story.
As a follow-up activity, a second or third grade class may brainstorm a list of twenty questions they have after reading this book and visit the library where each student researches a different question. This activity not only supports comprehension, but also encourages investigation and skill development in using the media center. This illustrated book is only a small portion of the resources available in the Shalom Sesame series of books. These books are great tools for introducing young readers to Jewish celebrations throughout the year as part of a broad scope of social studies. After reading Grover and Big Bird’s Passover Celebration, students will surely echo Big Bird’s final sentiment, “Whew! My brain is full of new words.” And this is a very good way to feel, indeed.