The Purim Panic

  • Review
By – February 28, 2023

In this new addi­tion to the Ruby Cel­e­brates! series, charm­ing young Ruby is now prepar­ing for the hol­i­day of Purim. She and her grand­moth­er bake tray after tray of haman­taschen, vary­ing the fill­ings and decid­ing which fla­vors to give each of their friends and fam­i­ly mem­bers. Her younger broth­er, Ben­ny, shakes his grog­ger loud­ly and inces­sant­ly as he watch­es them bake. Sud­den­ly Ruby real­izes that her pre­cious ring, a gift from Bubbe, is no longer on her hand. The fam­i­ly helps her search, and they look every­where; but as the evening approach­es, they still haven’t found it. Even­tu­al­ly, the time comes to put on cos­tumes and go to syn­a­gogue for the read­ing of the Megillah. Ben­ny con­tin­ues to shake his grog­ger until final­ly he shakes it so hard that it breaks open, Ruby’s ring emerg­ing safe and sound.

All the ingre­di­ents for a live­ly Purim cel­e­bra­tion can be found in the pages of the sto­ry: haman­taschen, cos­tumes, grog­gers, and Megillah read­ing each have a place. Com­plete with col­or­ful, Purim-inspired art, The Purim Pan­ic also teach­es lessons, such as hav­ing patience for a younger sib­ling, coop­er­at­ing with fam­i­ly, sus­tain­ing inter­gen­er­a­tional rela­tion­ships, and apol­o­giz­ing for one’s tem­per. The book con­cludes with back­ground infor­ma­tion about Purim and instruc­tions for mak­ing a grog­ger like Benny’s.

Michal Hoschan­der Malen is the edi­tor of Jew­ish Book Coun­cil’s young adult and children’s book reviews. A for­mer librar­i­an, she has lec­tured on top­ics relat­ing to lit­er­a­cy, run book clubs, and loves to read aloud to her grandchildren.

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