|Interest Level||Grade 3 - Grade 5|
|Reading Level||Grade 3|
|Genre||Fiction, Picture Books|
|Publisher||Lerner Publishing Group|
|Imprint||Kar-Ben Publishing ®|
|Number of Pages||32|
“This book is an imaginative take on the tried and true Purim story. King Ahashuerus is looking for a queen. His loyal followers find Esther, a young and beautiful Jewish girl, who the king selects to be his wife. She lives with her cousin Mordechai, who persuades her to hide her Jewish heritage in order to protect herself.
However, things do not stay peaceful for long. Mordechai offends one of the king’s advisors, Haman, by refusing to bow to him. So Haman decides to punish all the Jews in the kingdom. He tells the king that none of the Jews follow his orders. The king grants Haman permission to kill all Jews, young and old, on the 13th day of Adar.
Mordechai steps into action, convincing his sister that maybe her role in becoming queen was to save the Jews from this awful plight. So she fasts for three days, and convinces all the Jews to do the same.
She invites the king and Haman to join her for dinner. She tells the king about Haman’s awful plot against the Jews, and the king is so mad that he decides Haman should be hung on the gallows.
This fun, rhyming story can be read or performed in a theater script format with five different parts. It is color coded and easy to follow. It is beautifully illustrated with imaginative pictures that will engage children ages four and up.” —Jewish Journal
Jewish Book World
“Gentle humor, clever rhyme, dynamic illustrations, and biblical accuracy deliver an energetic, age-appropriate holiday story through a dexterous narrative that converts to a drama script. Author Tilda Balsley gifts the picture book crowd, their teachers, and parents with an inviting look at Purim’s biblical and holiday lore. Her compact tale holds attention through strong, well-described characters who are distinct personalities able to shine in the play format, achieved through the smart but simple use of color in each character’s dialogue. Without straying from Megillat Esther, Balsley enchants with heroine Easther, goody Mordechai, baddy Haman, flawed human King Ahasheurus, and a rich supporting group of others from Vashti to Haman’s wife. The narrator keeps motive and action moving in orderly fashion in both the narrative and dramatic form without spoiling the fun. The rhymes are excellent—unforced while carefully maintaining established rhythm. The layout highlights fun asides in speech balloons to underline or embroider the story. Balsley initiated this format in her 2008 Let My People Go, where she teamed with illustrator Ilene Richard. As in their earlier book, here Richard’s illustrations are charming, mobile, active, and flavored with Near Eastern sensibility. They support the text while imagining what these historical characters looked like and did. This picture book is well focused, well thought-out, and well delivered.” —Jewish Book World