Books: Purim Stories
Ages 5 and Up
The Story of Esther: A Purim Tale
retold by Eric A. Kimmel. Illustrated by Jill Weber. (Holiday House, 32 pp. $16.95)
Bring your children or grandchildren to synagogue to hear the reading of Megillat Esther—Purim is the Jewish holiday that allows them to make noise and dress up as beautiful Esther, righteous Mordecai or foolish King Ahasuerus in the usually solemn setting. But first read them the story of the holiday so they will know why everyone boos at wicked Haman.
Eric A. Kimmel’s The Story of Esther describes the powerful King Ahasuerus and how Esther came to be his queen; how her uncle, Mordecai, saved the king’s life—and Haman’s plot against the Jewish people. Happily, Haman is outwitted and Purim became a holiday for generations.
Jill Weber’s colorful illustrations bring youngsters into a world of turban-topped men, veiled women, camel riding and a graceful, arched and turreted palace, green-feathered peacocks and undulating snakes.
by Kelly Terwilliger. Illustrated by Barbara Johansen Newman. (Kar-Ben, 32 pp. cloth. $17.95, paper $7.95, eBook $13.95)
This whimsical book has Farmer Max’s animals putting on a Purim play. Chicken is the director and hands out the parts. The cast includes Duck as Queen Esther, Goat as Mordecai, Horse as King Ahahuerus, Cows as Noisemakers and Geese as the Audience. The trouble happens when Sheep—who is not a very scary Haman—dresses up as a wolf.