arts & entertainment
9 '-- Ake'jim'T':1-dibereez
ears ago, Nancy Steiner set out
to make her family seder a bit
more entertaining for her own
young kids. She wrote a poem that became
very popular among family and friends.
On This Night: The Steps of the Seder in
Rhyme, Steiner's first published children's
book, is an updated version of that poem
with large-format, brightly colored illus-
trations by Wendy Edelson that will appeal
to religiously observant families.
Along with Lotsa Matzah, it's one of sev-
eral new Passover books for the youngest
children to enliven the beloved holiday.
On This Night (Hachai Publishing) fea-
tures lively rhymes that follow the 14 steps
of the seder, with each section identified
by its Hebrew name. It is recommended
for ages 3-6.
In a phone interview with JTA from
her home in Los Angeles, Steiner says she
hopes the rhymes not only entertain but
me alai, DOOR
A PASSOVER TALE
It's rhyme time about matzah and the seder.
also reveal the heart of the holiday and the
meaning behind the seder.
Part of the verse reads: "Telling the story
each year like it's new, helps us to feel that
it's what we went through:'
Edelson's lively illustrations of the seder
night depict a contemporary religiously
observant family with a modern aesthetic.
Young girls and boys, whose heads are
covered with kippot, are shown participat-
ing fully in the seder's activities. A fuzzy
yellow duckling tags along for the holiday.
Lotsa Matzoth (Kar-Ben), a board book
by Tilda Balsley and illustrated by Akemi
Gutierrez, sets the beat with lighthearted
rhymes about matzah and Moses and the
hunt for the afikomen.
One double-page spread offers some
tempting ways to enjoy eating matzah —
with "syrup on fried matzah brei. Matzah
pizza, cheese piled high. So shout it out!
Hurray for matzah! It's Passover and we'll
Gutierrez's cartoon-like illustrations will
delight kids with lots of smiling faces and
a madcap hunt for the afikomen. The front
cover boasts a towering stack of matzah
crackers with jam and a friendly dog eager
to share in the festivities.
The book will appeal especially to those
This year's winner of the Sydney
Taylor Award for young readers, recently
announced by the Association of Jewish
Libraries, is The Elijah Door: A Passover
Tale (Holiday House). The Old World-
style story was written by Linda Leopold
Strauss and illustrated with richly detailed
colored woodcuts by Alexi Natchev. It is
recommended for ages 4-8.
The endearing, lighthearted tale is set in
Poland (and sometimes Russia). The grown-
ups in the Galinsky and Lippa families start
a foolish argument over hens and geese that
divide their town. With Passover approach-
ing, the children of the two families plot a
reunion, inspired by the hope that comes
with Elijah's presence during the holiday.
"Who can resist a folktale about star-
crossed lovers with a Jewish twist and a
Charade. Donen has
Many Detroiters can locate the CBC
coverage (it is not being aired nation-
ally in the U.S.) on their TVs.
There are four categories (men,
women, pairs, dance couples), and the
short programs in these categories
will have taken place by the time you
read this. But two American Jews,
competing in the men's and pairs'
competition, respectively, will skate
their long program on Friday, March 15.
At the end of those programs,
the winners will be announced. Both
Jewish skaters have a good chance at
medaling at next year's Olympics.
st Linda Leopold Strauss
On tins Night
The Steps orrhe Seder
by N. Slayer .
by Weivehe Cdebym
happy ending?" commented Aimee
Lurie, chair of the Sydney Taylor Awards
The book stands out for its "lovely wood-
cut illustrations, creative problem solving
and positive Jewish message of loving your
neighbor; writes Lurie, librarian at the
Agnon Jewish Day School in Cleveland. "It
all adds up to a story children will want to
hear more than once' ❑
em__ Special to the Jewish News
VF Goes Jewish
January and March issues of
Vanity Fair magazine have an astonish-
41 0 ing
amount of first-class Jewish-related
celebrity news, and the good news is
al that most of that material can be read
online. Just go to www.vanityfair.com/
magazine, and click on issue cover.
The January comedy issue, edited
by Judd Apatow, features a short
memoir by Lena Dunham; interviews
with the mostly Jewish cast of the
TV series Freaks and Geeks; a joint
interview with Elaine May and Mike
Nichols; and a very revealing inter-
view with Albert Brooks.
The March issue features an inter-
view with Mary Adelson, 83, who went
from being a show-biz frontman for the
Mafia to a top TV producer worth $300
million married to Barbara Walters to
his present state – divorced, broke and
living alone in a tiny
It also includes an
interview with a happy
and lively Stanley
Donen, 88, who
directed such clas-
sics as Singin' in the
Rain, On the Town and
March 14 • 2013
been living with Elaine
May, 80, for the past
12 years and wears a
medallion that May
gave him that reads:
"Stanley Donen. If
found, please return
to Elaine May."
As reported in this column last week,
Olympic gold medalist Aly Raisman, 18,
will be one of the celebrities compet-
ing on the upcoming season of Dancing
with the Stars, beginning at 8 p.m.
Monday, March 18.
sional dancer and audi-
ence favorite Maksim
says he will not return
this season. The
hunky Ukraine native,
who is the secular son
of a Jewish father and Chmerkovskiy
joined DWTS in its second season. He
has a lot of other interests, including
running four dance studios.
The World Figure Skating
Championships currently are tak-
ing place through March 18 in
Max Aaron, 20,
an Arizona native,
won the U.S.
month. Aaron, who
was raised in a
home, recently told
the JTA that he was
inspired by Jewish athletes growing
up. (The Men's final airs at 3:30 p.m.)
Also on the American team is pairs
skater Simon Shnapir, 25. He was born
in Moscow and moved, with his parents,
to the States when he was 16 months
old. Shnapir, an Emerson (Mass.) col-
lege student, stands 6-foot-4-inches
and towers over his 5-foot partner,
Marissa Castelli, 22.
Even so, they "make it work." Last
month, the duo won their first U.S.
Pairs National Championship. (The
pairs final airs at 9:30 a.m.)
Bonnie Franklin, best
known as the star of
the hit sitcom One
Day at a Time, died
on March 1, at age 69,
of pancreatic cancer.
She met her second
Minkoff, when he
produced an excel-
lent 1980 TV movie about the life of
birth control pioneer Margaret Sanger
that Franklin starred in. The couple wed
in 1980 and remained married until
Minkoff's death in 2009.
Valerie Harper, 73, who isn't Jewish
but played the famous Jewish charac-
ter Rhoda Morgenstern on the Mary
Tyler Moore Show and its spin-off,
Rhoda, has been diagnosed with a
terminal brain tumor.
In 2007, she starred as Golda Meir in
the film adaptation of the hit Broadway
play Golda's Balcony. David Groh, the
Jewish actor who played Joe, Rhoda's
non-Jewish husband, died in 2008, at
age 68, from cancer.