Shalom Life | July 01, 2014

Passover Book Series: The Littlest Levine [GIVEAWAY]

ShalomLife speaks to author Sandy Lanton about her Passover picture book for kids

By: Daniel Koren

Published: April 14th, 2014 in Culture » Books » News

Passover is hours away!

The sacred holiday begins later today, and involves more than just spring cleaning. It’s a time to share with family, friends and loved ones, to rejoice as a Jewish people, to regale at our thousands-year-old history. More importantly, it’s a time to share with our children the stories of our ancestors, to sing, to pray, and to remember and pay respects to our heritage. Though there are several interpretations of the Haggadah, children often relate to what they find interesting, and what’s fun and engaging for them.

That’s why we at ShalomLife are embarking on a Passover giveaway series for parents looking to engage and teach their children about the Story of Passover. For the next five days, we’ll be giving away a children’s book on Passover so that your kids can learn about their Jewish heritage, and in turn, teach their children, who will in turn, teach their children. The circle of life continues.

GIVEAWAY: As part of the Passover Giveaway, ShalomLife and author Sandy Lanton are pleased to offer a free copy of The Littlest Levine to ONE lucky winner. To enter, share this story via Facebook and/or Twitter and like Shalom Life on Facebook. Then send an email to contests@shalomlife.com with the headline: Littlest Levine. Hag Sameach!

Also, check out other children’s books highlighted in our Passover Book Series, including Frogs in the Bed, Seder in the Desert, and Max Makes A Cake.

Hannah hates being the littlest Levine. She can’t ride the school bus like her sister and brother. During Sukkot, she needs help hanging her decorations in the Sukkah, and on Hanukkah she’s not allowed to light candles by herself.

“Be patient,” her grandpa tells her, “soon you’ll be proud to be the littlest Levine.” Every evening in the weeks before Passover, she studies with her grandpa, and when the seder comes, it’s finally Hannah’s turn to shine!

The Littlest Levine is a wonderful Passover story whose themes focus on family and tradition. It’s catered to young children, particularly those with older siblings who are tired of being under-appreciated.

I, for one, totally understand.

Stories like this are essential to teaching the holiday of Passover to our younger ones. To get a better understanding, I spoke to author Sandy Lanton about her Passover picture book..

ShalomLife: How does The Littlest Levine teach the story of Passover?

Sandy Lanton: It isn’t just about Passover, although I hope it will encourage kids to pay attention to the answers to the four questions and learn the Passover story. The main theme is one of self-esteem. As Dr. Seuss said in Horton Hears a Who, “a person’s a person, no matter how small.” It’s also about dedication and persistence–sticking with a task until it’s mastered. That’s something adults should also aspire to.

ShalomLife: Where did you get this idea from?

Sandy Lanton: Like many writers, I get my inspiration from life experiences. When I was teaching nursery school at the local JCC, part of the Passover curriculum was teaching the four questions to my class of four year olds. I was amazed at how easily these young children, who couldn’t tie their own shoes, could memorize the four questions and how beautifully they recited them. This idea took hold and germinated for about twenty years.

ShalomLife: Obviously we teach kids about Pesach by having Seders and reading the Haggadah together. Why is it important to teach them with books like these as well?

Sandy Lanton: Children identify with other children in stories. In this book, Hannah feels unimportant all year, but when Pesach comes, she shines at the Seder. She contributes an important part of the seder–maybe even the most important part–introducing the Passover saga.

ShalomLife: How does this book engage kids to learn bout the holiday?

Sandy Lanton: I hope The Littlest Levine encourages kids to learn about Passover by relating to Hannah’s feelings and encourages them to not only memorize the four questions, but learn the meaning behind them. I hope it helps them to understand the meaning of Passover and identify proudly as Jews. I hope it also encourages them to work towards a goal and feel good about themselves and their achievements.

To win a copy of The Littlest Levine, follow the guidelines above, or you can purchase it via Kar-Ben Publishing or Amazon.

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