The lively holiday of Purim has much to teach us about courage, bravery, and Jewish survival but it is also great fun. Here is a selection of children’s books which feature Purim and have a cast of Jewish children in costume and out.
Sweet Tamales for Purim by Barbara Bietz, illustrated by John Kanzler
In Arizona, Rebecca’s traditionally prepared hamantaschen meet with misfortune but her friend Luis saves the day by providing his family’s traditionally prepared tamales. Ages 5 – 8
Esther Didn’t Dream of Being Queen by Allison Ofanansky, illustrated by Valentina Belloni
Esther gradually finds self-confidence and grows into the queen who is able to save the Jewish people. Ages 6 – 11
The Queen Who Saved Her People by Tilda Balsley, illustrated by Ilene Richard
A story told in rhyme about Esther, Mordechai, Haman, Ahasuerus, and a rich supporting cast of others. Ages 5 – 10
The Purim Costume by Peninnah Schram, illustrated by Tammy L. Keiser
Rebecca shows that Vashti was an important part of the Purim story without whom Esther could not have saved her people. Ages 6 – 9
Cakes and Miracles: A Purim Tale by Barbara Diamond Goldin, illustrated by Jaime Zollars
Herschel, an underestimated blind boy, shows his family that he can create something wonderful. Ages 7 and up
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.