"Jodie's father was an archaeologist of note and she dreamed of working the digs like he did when she grew up. When she found the afikomen she got a flashlight as a reward and was hoping that 'her cousin Zach would help her uncover treasures hidden deep inside the earth.' When Zach arrived it didn't seem like she'd have much of a chance to visit with him, much less do any exploring. Her older brothers Shimi and Eli had their Passover week planned out by suggesting they go skateboarding and biking ... and Jodie was not invited.
Jodie sulked as she rose out of her chair and pointed her finger at the boys and asked, 'Hey, when do I get a turn to be with Zach.' Shimi poked fun at her saying that there was nothing but mutant monsters in those caves, but Zach grew interested when Jodie talked about Hezekiah's Tunnel. She told him all about how Hezekiah was once the King of Jerusalem and how 'He even invited all the rulers of Judea to a Passover seder in Jerusalem.' Would Zach want to go to the tunnel with Jodie and if he did would they be able to figure out the 'riddle of the middle' as they made their way to the end?
Hezekiah's Tunnel or the Siloam Tunnel is underneath the City of David in Jerusalem. Children love a bit of mystery and adventure in books and this tale will encourage many to learn more about the history of Jerusalem and the tunnel itself. Held during Passover week, the story does not specifically talk about the festival, but does mention things such as the afikomen, matzah, and Hezekiah who called upon the people of Jerusalem to keep Passover. This is a fun book that would be an excellent addition to any religious library for the young reader.
Quill says: This is an interesting story about Jodie and her adventure into Hezekiah's Tunnel." --The Feathered Quill —Website
"During the week of Passover, Jodie’s cousin Zach visits Jodie and her family. The siblings all want to spend time with Zach and argue about who is to entertain him. Jodie succeeds in persuading Zach, who is initially fearful, to accompany her on an archeological adventure to Hezekiah’s Tunnel. Places in Jerusalem are alluded to with illustrations and brief historical descriptions. Jodie helps Zach overcome his fears through her logic-based explanations. With the help of a flashlight Jodie has received for finding the afikomen, the cousins solve the 'riddle of the middle' pointed out by Jodie’s archeologist father at the beginning of their tour; the original tunnel was dug from two starting points with the workers meeting in the middle. Double-page illustrations move the story from the start of Jodie’s exploration outside the tunnel where no clear entrance is indicated, to a wall that shows markings put there by the original builders and then back to the outside where they are met by a burst of sunlight. Without any knowledge of Jerusalem, children may be overwhelmed by the many unfamiliar places mentioned in the text. The story itself is loosely related to Passover in that it occurs during the holiday, a Passover picnic is packed and King Hezekiah once held a very large seder. The tunnel, itself, the main focus of the story, is not related to the holiday. Recommended for ages 6-9." --Jewish Book World —Magazine
"Award-winning author Anna Levine and artist Ksenia Topazas, paired for the second time, bring ancient Jewish history alive in an adventure tale story featuring Jodie, a spunky Israeli girl who dreams of being an archeologist like her father. Jodie invites her visiting American cousin Zach, along with her older brothers, for an underground exploration of Hezekiah's Tunnel, the famous secret water passage in Jerusalem's Old City. There are secrets to discover about how the tunnel was dug in ancient times, along with spooky shadows and a treasure. After the adventure, the family enjoys a Passover picnic in an outdoor park."--New Jersey Jewish Standard—Newspaper
'Interweaving history and adventure, Levine (Running on Eggs) takes young readers on a Passover trip worth pursuing. When Jodie’s cousin Zach visits for Passover, she and her siblings want to take him on a variety of trips to help him see all aspects of Israel. Jodie, in particular, is eager to lead him on an archeological dig through Hezekiah’s Tunnel. With her new flashlight, a Passover gift, and some Passover food prepared, the two of them venture out to the dark, wet, and narrow underground passageway. Intrigued by Jodie’s father’s brainteaser to find 'the riddle in the middle,' the daring duo must confront their fears and the creepy tunnel to see their way to the end. Topaz’s illustrations nicely portray the diversity of populations in the Holy Land, and Levine’s plot takes kids to a place where the past and the present converge in exciting new ways." --Publishers Weekly—Journal
"Jodie lives in Israel and wants to become an archaeologist just like her father. When her American cousin Zach visits during Passover, her father brings them to Hezekiah’s Tunnel in Jerusalem. Before they go in the tunnel, her father challenges them to figure out the 'riddle of the middle.' Jodie’s flashlight lights the way as the two descend underground into the long, narrow and low-ceilinged tunnel that once provided an escape route for King Hezekiah. Jodie and Zach’s keen sense of observation helps them unravel the riddle—and enjoy a holiday picnic of jelly and butter matza sandwiches." --Hadassah Magazine —Magazine
"All Jodie dreams about is being a famous archaeologist, just like her dad. As a prize for finding the afikomen at the Passover seder, Jodie is given a new flashlight, so she invites her cousin, Zach, to join her and her father at Hezekiah’s Tunnel, a famous archeological site in the old city of Jerusalem.
Once they arrive, her dad encourages them to begin their adventure. So Jodie leads Zach down an underground passageway that is very dark, cold, wet and smelly. As they proceed, they eat Passover mints to hide the smell. Soon they see weird scratch marks on the wall, Zach is convinced it is from dinosaurs, but Jodie tells him that they existed long before the King lived here. So they must be chiseled marks from when it was being built.
As they move further along, they start to see light at the end of the tunnel. They’ve made it. Dad is on the other end waiting for them, and is anxious to hear about their adventure as they sit down for a Passover picnic.
The author lives in Israel, just outside of Jerusalem. This is her second Jodie adventure tale. All of her books take place in Israel and reflect her love of archaeology, and the richness of history in that country.
Filled with detailed and beautiful illustrations, children can feel like they are partaking in Jodie’s mysterious adventure just by flipping the pages. This is the illustrator’s second Jodie adventure book.
Perfect for ages 5-9." --The Jewish Journal —Magazine
"You’ve changed over your crockery, your food cupboards – what about your children’s bookshelves? And I am not talking about removing the remnants of squashed bagel, 'posted' between them several weeks ago in a moment of toddler experimentation. Well, yes – you need to do that too. But it is also time to add some seasonal reading material. Kar-Ben has two new picture books with a Passover theme.
Jodie’s Passover Adventure, a picture book by Anna Levine (Kar-Ben, £5.99) sees the young would-be archaeologist, equipped with matzah picnic, exploring Hezekiah’s Tunnel, in Jerusalem. The underground passage, mentioned in the Bible, was hand-chiselled before 701 BCE by two teams of diggers, who began from different directions and managed to meet in the middle without the aid of modern instruments.
Ksenia Topaz copes admirably with the challenge of illustrating a book in which half the scenes take place in semi-darkness. What might be lurking in the darkness? A dragon? A dinosaur? Gently scary, to suit ages five to seven.
Izzy the Whiz is an inventor, but one of the most memorable inventions in Yael Memelstein’s Izzy the Whiz and Passover McClean (Kar-Ben, £5.99) is the word 'bread-ache' – why have we had to wait so long for a label that sums up the pain of chametz disposal?
Passover McClean is a robot, which carries out the pre-Pesach tidy with such zeal that it consumes the contents of the living room, right to the last chair. In brisk rhyming couplets, the story proceeds, as the robot spits out the contents upside down – and the race is on to put everything right before Mum finishes her nap. Reminiscent of Dr. Seuss’s Cat in the Hat, the story will raise giggles in the undersevens – and perhaps even convince them that helping clear up can be fun." --The Jewish Chronicle —Newspaper