"Singer/songwriter Rabbi Joe Black's second picture book focuses on the search for the afikomen after the Passover meal. 'I'm gonna find it/ I'm gonna find it/ Gonna find the afikomen,' reads the chorus, as family members search high and low for the hidden piece of matzo. Painted in warm, bright colors, Black's multiethnic cast exudes familial tenderness and cheer. A few rhymes are a bit of a stretch ('And when I find it I'll articulate/ the terms on which we shall negotiate'), but don't diminish the overall sense of fun." --Publishers Weekly—Journal
"Finding the afikomen (the hidden matzah) is a favorite custom during the Jewish holiday of Passover. Black's playful song 'Afikomen Mambo' is presented here as an illustrated book-and-CD combo. The music uses a Latin beat to add to the fun of the search, and listeners will want to get up and dance. The bright watercolor illustrations of a multiracial family are lively and a good match for the upbeat song. It must be noted, however, that the lyrics scan awkwardly and do not stand alone without the music. In addition, the pictures confuse the order of events somewhat by showing one child having found the afikomen and then all of the youngsters returning to the hunt; this coincides with the repetition of the chorus at the end of the song ('I'm gonna find it') but makes for a somewhat anticlimactic ending. Despite these quibbles, this kid-friendly book and CD will be popular with children, parents, and educators who are familiar with Passover vocabulary and customs." --School Library Journal—Journal
"Rabbi Joe Black's infectious energy and solid musicianship have made him a popular performer for Jewish children—and their parents. His latest project is Afikomen Mambo (Kar-Ben; $17.95 hardcover, $8.95 paperback), a book with lively pictures by Linda Prater and an accompanying CD. The catchy rhymes will get children singing along in the days leading up to the holiday and as they look for the hidden matzo. Suitable for ages 4-8." --Jewish Woman—Magazine
"Rabbi Black, a congregational rabbi, singer, songwriter and guitarist, tells the enlivening story pf children finding the afikomen at a Passover seder. As they sit through the seder, they are anxious to look for the afikomen and negotiate terms for its return. Everyone knows the seder cannot end until it is found and tasted by all.
Young children under four will be entertained by the simple rhyming story. The illustrations are cheery and colorful, and will keep youngsters engaged. The book includes a sing-along CD." -- The Jewish Journal—Magazine
"A newcomer to the Passover scene is the colorfully appealing Afikomen Mambo, by Joe Black and illustrated by Linda Prater. Sold together with the book is a CD with performance by Black, who is well known for his music. Geared to the 3–7 set, this playful combination of illustration and song, do exactly what the Afikomen is meant to do—pique the interest and engagement of the younger set so they stay awake until the end of the Seder. Somewhat puzzling is the plethora of children and the paucity of adults seated around the table. From the looks of it, one set of parents has invited a whole brood of young ones to join in the Passover fun. But at least everyone looks happy doing the Afiokmen Mambo." --Forward.com —Other Print
"Even the youngest children can (and should) be involved in Passover, and Kar-Ben Publishing has three new holiday titles.
For kids ages 1-4: A lively book and CD is available from the well-known singer and songwriter Rabbi Joe Black, Afikomen Mambo, illustrated by Linda Prater ($17.95). Kids are sure to sing and/or dance along to the CD, and will love the chaos illustrated in the book's pages as the search for the afikoman goes on." -- Chicago Jewish Star Magazine—Newspaper
Rabbi Black is thought-provoking and accessible, a rare and wondrous combination. His infectious musical style teaches while entertaining. A Rabbi Joe Black performance is an engrossing experience--an extraordinary and unique extension of the rabbinate.
Joy in the experience of learning. That's a big part of Rabbi Joe Black's approach to contemporary Jewish music. With children, he is energetic, surprising, and dynamic. With adults, his superb musicianship, powerful songwriting and sense of spiritual awareness creates an opportunity for the head and the heart to come together.
Rabbi Joe Black is one of the most popular Jewish contemporary artists in the United States. He has recorded five critically acclaimed albums of Jewish music and has been a featured performer at the Coalition for Alternatives in Jewish Education (CAJE) Conference as well as the Biennial Conventions of the Union for Reform Judaism. He has shared his music with hundreds of Jewish communities around the United States and Canada. He also has been featured in many acoustic music venues around the country. Rabbi Black has been honored as one of the “Top Ten Artists” in both the categories of “Jewish Children’s Music” and “Male, Adult Contemporary Jewish Music”by Moment Magazine and TARA Publications. His recordings have received accolades from sources as diverse as The New York Times, Haddasah Magazine, Parent’s Choice, The American Library Journal and Kids First: The Coalition for Quality Children’s Video. While living in Chicago, he hosted the Emmy award winning television program,The Magic Door on WBBM TV.