ON PURIM by Cathy Goldberg Fishman


Age Range: 5 - 9
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This is a sprightly overview from Fishman (On Passover, 1997), who uses a young girl’s preparations as the vehicle for a recounting of the Purim story. The full cast of characters is present—Queen Esther and King Ahasuerus, Mordecai and Haman—for a lesson in how Mordecai and Esther’s acts of courage turned the wastrel Ahasuerus into a decent king and saved the Jews from Haman’s wrath. Fishman smoothly includes a handful of Hebrew words in the text—hamantashen, shalach manot, and tzedakah—and makes Haman emerge in all his evilness, with prompts for stomping, hooting, and yelling at the mention of his name. In the end, Fishman explains how God’s presence can be detected in the mettle of Mordecai and Esther, in their willingness to do the right thing at a potentially dire cost. Their example also universalizes the tale, providing transcendent acts of personal courage. Hall’s pastel-pretty illustrations beguilingly serve to transmit the story and give it a suitably cozy atmosphere. (Picture book. 5-9)

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 2000
ISBN: 0-689-82392-4
Page count: 40pp
Publisher: Atheneum
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15th, 1999


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