REVIEW: Welcoming Elijah by Leslea Newman, illustrated by Susan Gal
Celebrated author Lesléa Newman unites a young boy and a stray kitten in a warm, lyrical story about Passover, family, and friendship.
Inside, a boy and his family sit around the dinner table to embrace the many traditions of their Passover Seder around the dinner table. Outside, a cat wonders, hungry and alone. When it’s time for the symbolic Passover custom of opening the family’s front door for the prophet Elijah, both the boy and the cat are in for a remarkable surprise.
After I stumbled a bit with my initial Hanukkah review this past December, and so many people wished for Passover stories, I was delighted to find this one. It’s charming, it gets things right and it has a cat! Okay, that last bit is probably mainly for me but it’s a tale with a tail. The images are charming but also illustrative of the story. The family and friends are warm inside as they celebrate together while the kitten is outside, still in the blue shadows (look for the kitten in the early pages). As the time to open the door for the Prophet Elijah nears, the intensity of feeling increases. Then, just when the door is opened, little Elijah bounds in and finds his forever home. Yes, I was smiling. B