The Family (and Frog!) Haggadah

Make your seder different than all other seders!

Start with a traditional Haggadah text, add vibrant artwork, your favorite songs, and fun facts to it. Then add a hopping frog to its pages, and you’ll get…

The Family (and Frog!)
Haggadah!

Pass on your timeless heritage while creating new seder traditions that you and your family will look forward to repeating year after year.

The Family and Frog Haggadah plus Slime Kit

Don’t know what to get kids for Passover?

How about “The Family and Frog Haggadah” PLUS SLIME KIT – from Scattered Books.

Just click this link. It’s that easy!

Librarians and Teachers

Awards & Nominations

  • Won the 2016 Outstanding Children’s Literature Award from the Church and Synagogue Library Association

The Family (and Frog!) Haggadah Reviews

Passover innovations aren’t limited to food. There are also new takes on the Haggadah. “The Family (and Frog!) Haggadah,” by Rabbi Ron Isaacs and Karen Rostoker-Gruber, aims to be both child-friendly and Seder-appropriate. (Amphibians figure in the Exodus story.) The disruptive frog in the story spills the wine, bathes in the bowl of salt water and expresses his intention to make the evening “TOADily awesome.

“Adults get bored at the Seder, too,” said Ann Koffsky, an editor at Behrman House, the book’s publisher. “Frog gives voice to our ‘Can we eat yet?’ desire.”

-Joanne Kaufman, The New York Times

A wisecracking frog takes center stage in this kid-friendly Haggadah that is a complete guide to a fun-filled, informative, abbreviated seder that’s designed to be 30 minutes to an hour. The lively Haggadah, filled with photographs and illustrations, begins with a seder checklist and candle-lighting prayers and guides families through the mainstays of the seder, from the Passover story, to the Ten Plagues to welcoming Elijah the Prophet. Songs go from the traditional favorite “Dayenu” to “Take Me Out to the Seder.” An entertaining cartoon frog appears throughout with jokes and funny comments (“Hold on! I brought my hopmonica!”) that are sure to bring giggles and keep kids engaged.

-Penny Schwartz, The Jewish Telegraph Association

The Family (and Frog!) Haggadah is a kid-friendly Haggadah full of frog-surprises. As you complete the steps of the seder, Frog pops up to add comments, wise-cracks, games, puns, and interesting questions. He also makes costume changes to fit into the spread or add to his comment. In one section, Frog wears yellow-polka dotted blue swimming trunks, and in another, a purple t-shirt asking, “got grape juice?” Kids will love Frog’s enthusiasm, craziness, and ability to enlighten a serious occasion.

Like traditional Hebrew, The Family (and Frog!) Haggadah is read from right to left, meaning the book may seem to have been printed backwards. It wasn’t. Much of the actual seder is also in Hebrew, with the English translation alongside the Hebrew. If you are looking for a Haggadah that will bring your children into the seder enlightened and eager, The Family (and Frog !) Haggadah may just be the right fit for your next Seder.

-Sue Morris, KidLit Reviews

Frog is 5 years old and gender neutral. Frog spills things, makes a matzah mess, plays guitar, runs away from Pharaoh’s army and even eats a locust during the seder. The sky was the limit.

I gave Ann and Dena three times the amount of material for Frog, so that they could take things away and still be left with a whole lot of fun!

This Haggadah was one of the hardest, most challenging manuscripts I have ever worked on. It changed daily as Ron was still editing while I was getting Frog to comment on things that he was working on at the time. Plus. . . there was the deadline. 🙂

The printed Haggadah was more than I ever expected it to be. It’s beautiful! Ann designed it to look like a very traditional Haggadah, from the typefaces and colors that she chose, to the background that resembles a piece of papyrus. She also selected gorgeous pieces of art and artifacts for each page–and then. . .popping out of corners, through the pages and jumping to different sections, is a cartoon amphibian—Frog. It’s unexpected and fun! Not only is there a cartoon frog bursting through the binding, singing songs and breaking matzah, but there are also “Fun Facts,” “Did You Know” and “Try This,” parts of the Haggadah, which elevates this Haggadah even higher and encompasses so many different age groups that there is literally something for everyone.

I am so proud of this project. And the finished product came out beyond my wildest expectations. Plus, Frog LOVES it! And that was important to me.

Click to read the entire article at Unleashing Readers.

I love that this book is read, paging from right to left and that it is an informative and inspiring educational guide to a seder celebration. Frog’s illustrations are entertaining and will keep little ones engaged while they learn more about their holiday. Although this is a picture book for children, there is so much packed into this book by way historical and traditional information, as well as stories to share and fun activity suggestions, that there is definitely something for everyone! This book can be enjoyed year after year as your children learn and grow and focus on different aspects of the text and activities.

In addition to my being a fan of Karen Rostoker-Gruber’s picture books, I am also an admirer of Jackie Urbanovic’s books as well. I found this to be a wonderful collaboration with Rabbi Ron Isaacs! Mazel Tov!

Five Stars and a perfect picture book friday and Passover pick!

-Lynne Marie, Literally Lynne Marie

The frog in this Haggadah has a clear-cut case of ADHD — but one that is entertaining and makes for lighthearted fun. “The Family (and Frog!) Haggadah,” published in February by Springfield-based Behrman House, is not a pediatric version of the Haggadah, but rather one that children, and bored adults, can enjoy at the seder.

Frog, a 5-year-old cartoon character developed by New Jersey children’s author and ventriloquist Karen Rostoker-Gruber, jumps onto every spread with silly puns, quips, and questions. He gets distracted by flies that turn out to be locusts (think the ten Plagues). And he’d like more grape juice, please.

But Frog also supplies background on traditions — like the information that reclining at the table was “in ancient times considered a sign of royalty” and expresses our freedom. Frog encourages an interactive seder, with “Try This!” boxes scattered throughout the pages that include little tidbits to spark interest. For example, “Take turns passing around a mirror, and have participants look into it and visualize themselves as a slave.”

And for families who have adopted new customs, you don’t need to search your basement or Passover boxes for the sheet Aunt Susie created with the reading for Kos Miriam. It’s right there on a spread next to Elijah’s Cup, with reference to the first usage of a Miriam’s Cup at a seder in 1989, thanks to some research done for the Haggadah by Jewish historian Jonathan Sarna.

On a recent visit to Rostoker-Gruber’s home in Branchburg, Frog, the puppet based on the character in the Haggadah, was eager to chat with a visitor about his favorite color (purple), his favorite part of the seder (the Four Questions), and why he likes visiting with kids in schools around the area (because they’re funny).

Continue reading this review.

-Johanna Ginsberg, New Jersey Jewish News

A wisecracking frog takes center stage in this kid-friendly Haggadah that is a complete guide to a fun-filled, informative, abbreviated seder that’s designed to be 30 minutes to an hour. The lively Haggadah, filled with photographs and illustrations, begins with a seder checklist and candle-lighting prayers and guides families through the mainstays of the seder, from the Passover story, to the Ten Plagues to welcoming Elijah the Prophet. Songs go from the traditional favorite “Dayenu” to “Take Me Out to the Seder.” An entertaining cartoon frog appears throughout with jokes and funny comments (“Hold on! I brought my hopmonica!”) that are sure to bring giggles and keep kids engaged.
–Penny Schwartz, Baltimore Jewish Times

The Family (and Frog!) Haggadah is a fun take on the traditional telling of the Passover story. With lists to help participants prepare for the seder and activities to engage all ages, not to mention a cute illustrated frog, children, young and old, and their families will enjoy this Haggadah. Thoughtfully, the authors chose to use a frog as a symbol of transformation. Just as a frog changes from a tadpole to an amphibian, during Passover we share the story of how the Israelite slaves were transformed into a nation.

Throughout the book, “Frog,” pops up on the pages with silly puns, interesting activities and cute games. For example, while searching for chameitz, the unleavened products Jews are supposed to dispose of before the start of the holiday, the illustrated Frog proclaims, “I found some toadst.” He also introduces “Game Time,” including puzzles and word scrambles (with answers in the back). Additionally, there are boxes encouraging participants to “Think About” or “Try This” and “Did You Know?” The extension activities are thought provoking on many levels.

In addition to the spunky Frog illustrations, this Haggadah includes all sorts of images relating to Passover, from historical reproductions to cute contemporary puppets representing Passover symbols.

The only concern about this Haggadah is the usefulness of one extension activity, a “Try This!” activity. “Take turns passing around a mirror, and have participants look into it and visualize themselves as a slave.” Despite the connection to the tradition of using a mirror as an educational device for children to emphasize the concept that we are supposed to see ourselves as participants in the Jewish people’s liberation from slavery, this activity seems to minimize the slave experience and may seem disrespectful. However, it would be easy enough to skip it. Overall, The Family (and Frog!) Haggadah would be a fun and engaging book to use at a family seder. Highly recommended for family use.
Paula Chaiken, Jewish Book Council

The frog in this Haggadah has a clear-cut case of ADHD but one that is entertaining and makes for lighthearted fun. The Family (and Frog!) Haggadah, published in February by Springfield-based Behrman House, is not a pediatric version of the Haggadah, but rather one that children, and bored adults, can enjoy at the seder. The text is mostly in English, with blessings and songs in Hebrew; transliteration and translation are supplied. It was written by Rabbi Ron Isaacs, author of more than 100 books.

Frog, a 5-year-old cartoon character developed by New Jersey children’s author and ventriloquist Karen Rostoker-Gruber, jumps onto every spread with silly puns, quips, and questions. He gets distracted by flies that turn out to be locusts (think the ten Plagues). And he d like more grape juice, please. But Frog also supplies background on traditions like the information that reclining at the table was in ancient times considered a sign of royalty and expresses our freedom. Frog encourages an interactive seder, with Try This! boxes scattered throughout the pages that include little tidbits to spark interest. For example, Take turns passing around a mirror, and have participants look into it and visualize themselves as a slave.

In Frog’s Haggadah, the structure of the seder is intact, but lightened. Greatest hits are shortened. Dayeinu, for example, finishes in three verses; required sections are often shrunk to a minimum, so don t look for a full Birkat Hamazon, or even the common short form this one is very abbreviated (one paragraph). You won’t find the section on the rabbis arguing all night in Bnei Brak either except in a Did you know? box. There’s no commentary here. That kind of depth is, well, out of Frog’s reach. But there are enough extras and suggestions that this Haggadah provides for the makings of a lively seder, and a leader can add depth with extra readings.

~New Jersey Jewish News

This innovative Haggadah stars Frog (yes, he of the plague). The traditional text is peppered with Frog s mischievous contributions and complaints. In a play on the word seder, which means order, Frog asks, Hey, can we change the seder of the seder and sing first? Frog helps us search for chametz as well as burn it safely. There are lively games and provocative topics for discussion. Hopefully, players of all ages will survive the challenging game of Hot Matzah Ball. The Haggadah juxtaposes Jackie Urbanovic s playful frog art with historical illustrations such as Passover Cleaning from the 1320 Golden Haggadah and a 1901 framed souvenir from the Fifth Zionist Congress.

~ Gloria Goldreich, Hadassah Magazine

A haggadah is a guidebook for holding a seder, the festive meal associated with the Jewish holiday of Passover. Like any traditional haggadah, this volume reads left to right (Hebrew style). The text is in English, with prayers and songs in both Hebrew and transliteration.

This family haggadah has activities, fun facts, and a humorous cartoon frog to engage young seder participants while providing lucidly written, thorough text for more advanced readers. The ‘Think About’ prompts are well designed for encouraging inter-generational discussion. There are several nice touches, such as suggestions for vegetarian seder plate options (for example, substituting a beet for the bone), the inclusion of Miriam’s cup along with Elijah’s cup, and the replacement of the traditional, somewhat judgmental ‘wicked’ and ‘simple’ sons with gender-neutral ‘defiant’ and ‘uncomplicated’ children.

The art features well-composed photographs of contemporary seder participants, reproductions of Passover art through the ages, and clear photos of ceremonial objects (seder plate, wine cup).

~ School Library Journal

Gr 1–5: A haggadah is a guidebook for holding a seder, the festive meal associated with the Jewish holiday of Passover. Like any traditional haggadah, this volume reads left to right (Hebrew style). The text is in English, with prayers and songs in both Hebrew and transliteration. This “family haggadah” has activities, fun facts, and a humorous cartoon frog to engage young seder participants while providing lucidly written, thorough text for more advanced readers.

The “Think About” prompts are well designed for encouraging intergenerational discussion. There are several nice touches, such as suggestions for vegetarian seder plate options (for example, substituting a beet for the bone), the inclusion of Miriam’s cup along with Elijah’s cup, and the replacement of the traditional, somewhat judgmental “wicked” and “simple” sons with gender-neutral “defiant” and “uncomplicated” children. The art features well-composed photographs of contemporary seder participants, reproductions of Passover art through the ages, and clear photos of ceremonial objects (seder plate, wine cup). It should be noted that no Jews of color are portrayed. A painting of African American enslaved people accompanies the lyrics of “Let My People Go,” a spiritual that describes the biblical events of Passover, but without context it is somewhat out of place.

VERDICT: While child-friendly, this is not an introductory haggadah. It should be used at seders where the leader, at the very least, is familiar with the proceedings and the tunes to the songs. However, families will enjoy the thoughtful approach to holiday traditions offered here.

~ Heidi Rabinowitz, Congregation B’nai Israel, Boca Raton, FL