A Sweet Meeting on Mimouna Night

by Allison Ofanansky (Author) Rotem Teplow (Illustrator)

A Sweet Meeting on Mimouna Night
Reading Level: 2nd − 3rd Grade

It's Mimouna -- the Moroccan Jewish holiday that marks the end of Passover, and when blessings are given for a year of prosperity and good luck. Miriam wants to help her mother make the sweet moufleta pancakes they always eat at their Mimouna party, but after not eating doughy treats for the week of Passover, they don't have any flour in the house! So, Miriam's mother takes her to visit their Muslim neighbors, who share their flour. The women drink tea together, and Miriam makes friends with a young girl named Jasmine. Miriam almost drops the bag of flour when she and Jasmine go to fetch it from the storeroom -- but luckily Jasmine is there to catch it! Jasmine and her family then join Miriam's family and friends to celebrate Mimouna.

This sweet story of friendship and shared customs will introduce North American readers to the Mimouna holiday. The book concludes with an author's note and a recipe for making moufleta, the sweet, paper-thin pancakes featured in the story, so that readers can enjoy, too.

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School Library Journal

Gr 1-5--When Passover ends, along with dietary restrictions, the Moroccan Jewish holiday of Mimouna begins, but where do observant Jews find flour at that time of night for the traditional and delicious moufleta? Miriam's mother responds to her daughter's question with a walk to the Muslim part of town, where they have tea with Jasmine, a girl Miriam's age, and her mother. After tea, Jasmine's mother sends them home with a bag of flour and is invited to the celebration. Preparations and the party ensue, quietly conveying the traditions of this holiday. As Jasmine repeatedly saves the day when Miriam keeps tripping, the shy girls shed their fears and become fast friends. The next Mimouna finds Miriam's family in Jerusalem, where she remembers Jasmine fondly. Ofanansky's text is dense but flows nicely. It conveys a lot of information while remaining accessible. In a mix of full- and half-page spreads, Teplow's illustrations depict wonderful facial expressions and add texture and life to the text, while her use of patterns, architecture, and colors effectively evokes Morocco. Despite the North African setting, everyone shown has pale skin, although yarmulkes, fezzes, and other head coverings abound. The back matter provides more loving details and a recipe. VERDICT The lesson of intercultural cooperation is subtle but compelling. This introduction to an important holiday and sharing will be a welcome addition to many collections.--Catherine Callegari, Gay-Kimball Lib., Troy, NH

Copyright 2020 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.
Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Publication date
October 20, 2020

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