Sammy Spider's First Purim
By Sylvia A. Rouss
The Shapiro family is getting ready for Purim. Josh is making a grogger to
take to the synagogue Megillah reading. Sammy Spider wants to participate,
but as Sammy's mother reminds him, "Spiders don't celebrate holidays;
spiders spin webs." This time Sammy's curiosity gets him stuck inside a
grogger, spinning noisily among the beans. How will he escape?
A funny companion to Hanukkah! (1990) and Passover Magic (1995), by the same team.
Here young Frannie is distraught because a cousin, who always takes the part of
villain Haman in the annual family Purim play, has the flu, and her mother has
invited a neighbor, eccentric old Mrs. Teplitzky, to join the family celebration
and play the role. Mrs. Teplitzky (a dead ringer for Grandma Rose in Hanukkah!)
turns out to have been an actress in her youth, makes up stagestruck Frannie as
the most fetching Esther ever, and coaxes brother Ezra out of his wooden delivery
of Mordechai's lines. The play is a rousing success, and by the end of the evening
Frannie and Mrs. Teplitzky, with their mutual love of theater, are good friends.
Another warm, amenable look at family life during a special holiday.
Queen Esther Saves Her People
Although there are a number of books about the Jewish holiday
Purim, this is a particularly well told version. The biblical story
centers on the young girl Esther, who is taken into the court of the
Persian king and then finds herself in a position to save her people,
the Jews. Gelman personalizes the story with details: "The young
women [of the court] spoke many languages. They were of many
religions. And they were all beautiful, each in her own way. Esther
enjoyed meeting women from many different parts of the empire." The
pictures, done in folk art style, incorporating the story's Persian
setting, are likewise full of details. From the cover picture of a
Esther, holding a tiny, almost unnoticeable white bird in her hand,
to the joyous last scene, in which the Jews of Persia celebrate their
freedom, there is always one more thing to see. A solid, attractive
choice for religion shelves.
By Camille Kress
In her third board book, Camille Kress continues on a voyage through
the Jewish calendar. From the author of
There Be Lights! and
Shabbat, Purim! introduces toddlers and preschoolers to the
festive holiday's symbols and celebrations. Through her delightful
watercolor illustrations and inviting description, young readers
will learn about the heroes and villains of a story called Purim.
The sweet smells of hamantashen, the click-clack sounding
of the groggers, and the mystery of the masquerade -- all
come to life on the pages of this charming board book.
|By designing her narrative as a diary written by Esther, wife of the great Persian king Ahasuerus, Wolkstein offers a plausible interpretation of the conflicting emotions that must have plagued the girl as she prepared to wager her wit, beauty, and charm against the machinations of the king's favorite minister, the evil Haman, as he anticipated the wholesale slaughter of the Jews and seizure of their property. Wijngaard's full-color illustrations are elegant and glowing. Opulently designed, painstakingly detailed, richly allusive, they suggest Persian art while retaining their own integrity in a handsome tribute to female heroism.|
A lovely re-imagining of the Cinderella story, with a fine twist. Raisel lives in a tiny village
in Poland with her grandfather, a poor scholar. When Zaydeh dies, Raisel goes to town to
seek work and finds it in the kitchen of a famed rabbi. But the cook mistreats her and
keeps her from the Purim party. That night, when Raisel gives her supper to an old woman,
the beggar grants her three wishes. Raisel, who then goes to the Purim party costumed as
Queen Esther and enchants the rabbi's son with her riddle, is wise enough to keep one wish
back and uses it for cleaning the kitchen when she returns at midnight. The next day the
rabbi's son searches for her, and Raisel, locked in the pantry, calls out her riddle: "What's
more precious than rubies, more lasting than gold? / What can never be traded, stolen, or
sold? / What comes with great effort and takes time, but then--/ Once yours, will serve you
again and again?" The rabbi's son knows the answer, which is "learning," and so they "lived
and learned happily ever after." The illustrations in velvety, muted colors make use of strong
geometric shapes and varying perspectives: we see Raisel and her Zaydeh through a window
studying together; the nasty cook looming over Raisel in the rabbi's kitchen; and dramatic
close-ups of Raisel and the beggar woman and a gorgeous one of Raisel dressed as Queen
Esther with the rabbi's son. This universal story fits into its Jewish milieu as neatly as a key in a lock.
Silverman tells of Raisel, an orphan girl who is raised by her scholarly grandfather until his death; three wishes from an old beggar woman allow Raisel to attend the Purim play dressed as Queen Esther, where she captures the attention of the rabbi's son. It is her clever riddle about the precious nature of learning, however, that eventually wins his heart. Carefully crafted, this story not only entertains, but it teaches readers about the Jewish holiday, Purim, Queen Esther, and the tradition of costumed re-enactment. Unlike a majority of the other versions of the Cinderella story, this one does not include a self-absorbed prince who combs the countryside looking for a bride of a particular shoe size; refreshingly, Silverman's hero is as intelligent as he is handsome, and seeks a bride who is his equal. Graber's illustrations are the perfectly complement, embodying Raisel's transformation from a life of servitude to one of riches ``more precious than rubies.''
This retelling of the story of Esther is presented in a
beautifully designed book. The text is printed in a
calligraphy style which is both decorative and easy to
read. The soft pencil line drawings supplement the text
and are in keeping with the Biblical theme. Esther, the
young Jewish girl chosen to be the wife of the Persian
King Ahasuerus, thwarted the schemes of the king's wicked
chief minister to kill all the Jews of Persia. The event
is celebrated to this day by the holiday of Purim. The
story is told in a simple, direct style and has all of
the elements of an absorbing tale: a villain; a beautiful
heroine; and a hero, Esther's Uncle Mordecai. A good
addition to the Bible stories section of any library.
As her family sits down to make masks, a young girl knows it's
time for Purim, the holiday that celebrates how Queen Esther
saved the Jewish people. It's time for making hamantashen, pastries
filled with poppy seeds and honey. Time to place these pastries
in homemade paper gift baskets with candy and fruit. Time for the
Purim carnival, for playing games and watching the Purim parade.
And, of course, time to put on their new costumes and masks.
But this year the girl can't help but wonder why they wear masks on Purim. As her family acts out the Purim story, she discovers not only the story behind the masks, but the place of G-d in their lives.
The Shushan Chronicle :
The Story of Purim
By Yaffa Gottlieb
Using Midrashic sources as a backdrop, Yaffa Gottlieb weaves a Purim tale
full of intrigue, excitement and a hint of humor. Esther and Mordechai,
Achashveirosh and Haman are brought to life in full-color illustrations,
as the reader gets a glimpse into our history.
the Morning Star
|Retells the story of how a beautiful Jewish girl became the Queen of Persia and saved her people from death at the hands of the evil Hamen.|
The Whole Megillah (Almost)
|Chapter summaries of the Purim story in Hebrew and English, with colorful pictures, songs, and a 10-act play with production notes.|
It Happened in Shushan: A Purim Story
Is this the same old retelling of the Purim story?
OF COURSE NOT!
Is this nifty rebus guaranteed to make you laugh?