ESTHER by Miriam Chaikin


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A faithful, simplified retelling of the Biblical story of Esther, the queen of Persia who interceded for her people, the Jews, and prevented the slaughter planned by Haman, chief minister to her husband, Ahasuerus. Chosen for her beauty as successor to a previous wife who had been summarily dismissed because she once failed to come when summoned, keeping her heritage a secret, Esther would have known how precarious her position was in the intrigue-filled court. Her uncle, Mordecai, once saved the king's life from would-be poisoners. When Haman plans to use his authority to have all the Jews killed, Esther risks her life by going before the king to plead for her people. Ahasuerus grants her request, has Haman executed, and makes Mordecai his new minister. His first act is to pass a law allowing the Jews to slay their attackers, since it is not possible to prevent the attack. The celebration of Purim commemorates this rescue. Rosenberry's elegantly mannered pencil drawings evoke the opulent, treacherous court; they are well-balanced by the text, set in an unusually delicate and graceful (but legible) face. An attractive, well-phrased edition that retains most of the important details of the original, but is briefer and more accessible to young readers.

Pub Date: Feb. 2nd, 1987
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Jewish Publication Society