Adelson, Leone. The Mystery Bear: A Purim Story. New York: Clarion, 2004.

This humorous story is an all-time favorite to read aloud to classes.  A hungry bear cub awakens from his winter nap and finds a Purim party with lots of food.  As he eats his fill, none of the guests realize he is really a bear, except one little boy.  When the bear acts bear-like, the “Purim shpielers” scatter and Little Bear lumbers off to find his mother.  Illustrated by Naomi Howland. (For preschool – grade 2).

 

Balsley, Tilda. The Queen Who Saved Her People. Minneapolis: Kar-Ben, 2011.

Written in the format of a Reader's Theatre Script, a humorous re-telling of the story of Queen Esther. Illustrated by Ilene Richard. (For kindergarten – grade 3).

 

Blitz, Shmuel. The Artscroll Children's Megillah. Artscroll Youth Series.

New York: Mesorah, 2003.

This Megillah was published in conjunction with the Hebrew Academy of Cleveland.  It is in Hebrew and English.

 

Fisman, Karen. Problems in Purimville: A Purim Story. Toronto: JoRA Books, 2010.

An adventure tale filled with hamantashen, costumes and graggers. Days before Purim, Jacob and Sara receive a mysterious cry for help which leads them to try to solve a mystery in Purimville.  Illustrated by Wendy Faust. (For grades 3 – 6).

 

 

 Gelman, Rita Golden. Queen Esther Saves Her People. New York: Scholastic, 1998.

A striking page layout showcases the Persian-inspired illustrations by Frane Lessac., which match the story in detail and wry wit.

 

Gerstein, Mordicai. Queen Esther, the Morning Star. New York:  Simon & Schuster, 2000.

This version of the story of Esther is fairly faithful to the original text.  The personalities of the characters are reflected in the pictures. Esther is portrayed as brave, Mordecai as noble, King Ahasuerus as lazy and complacent, and Haman as a scoundrel.  (For kindergarten – grade 2).

 

Goetz, Bracha. What do You See on Purim? New York: Judaica Press, 2011.

A board book featuring photographs of infants and toddlers, Purim symbols. (For preschool).

 

 Goldin, Barbara Diamond. Cakes and Miracles: A Purim Tale. New York: Marshall Cavendish, 2010.

An updated version of the classic tale with new illustrations and shortened text. Hershel’s mother discourages his help to bake hamantashen because he is blind. During the holiday of Purim, he discovers the special gifts he can use to help his mother. Illustrated by Jaime Zollars. (For kindergarten – grade 4).

                                                                                                         

Grishaver, Joel Lurie. I Can Celebrate the Jewish Holidays. Los Angeles: Torah Aura, 2010.

A great introductory book about the celebrations and rituals of the Jewish holidays.  A teacher’s guide is available that can be used with or without the text. Illustrated by David Bleicher.  (For grades 1 – 2).

 

Hoffman, Amalia. Purim Goodies. Israel: Gefen Kidz, 2007.

This is based on a story by Sholom Aleichem.  When two young maids are sent to deliver

mishlo-ah manot baskets, they cannot resist the tempting smell of fresh-baked Purim goodies.  This book contains some Yiddish vocabulary and a hamantashen recipe. (For grades 1 – 4).

 

Howland, Naomi. The Better-than-Best Purim. New York: Marshall Cavendish Children, 2012.

A version of the “The Little Red Hen.” To celebrate Purim an old woman makes hamantashen cookies, with no assistance from her lazy pets that are secretly planning a surprise. Includes author's note on the origin of this festive holiday and a recipe for hamantashen.  (For preschool – grade 2).

 

JECC.  Fingerprints:  Discovering Jewish Life. Cleveland, OH: JECC, 2014.

The third edition of the early childhood curriculum "Fingerprints." It is integrated with the Ohio Early Learning and Development Standards (OELDS).There is a Purim unit. (For preschool).

 

Kimmel, Eric. The Story of Esther: A Purim Tale. New York: Holiday House, 2010.

A detailed account of the Book of Queen Esther, providing information about the origin of the Jewish people in Persia. Illustrated with oil paintings by Jill Weber. (For grades 1 – 4).

 

Koralek, Jenny. The Story of Queen Esther.  Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans Books for Young Readers, 2009.

A wonderful re-telling of the Jewish girl who became queen of Persia and saved her people from death. Bold, richly colored, Persian-inspired illustrations by Grizelda Holderness.

 

 Kropf, Latifa Berry.  It's Purim Time! Minneapolis: Kar-Ben, 2005.

This is part of an excellent series containing photographs of a preschool class celebrating holidays.  Photographed by Todd Cohen. (For preschool and kindergarten).

 

Kushner, Elisabeth. The Purim Superhero. Minneapolis: Kar-Ben, 2013.

Nate loves aliens and he really wants to wear an alien costume for Purim, but his friends are all dressing as superheroes and he wants to fit in. Illustrated by Mike Byrne. (For preschool – grade 2).

 

The Queen of Persia: An Illustrated Adaptation of an Ancient Story. Chicago, IL: Shazak, 2004.

This is a comic strip version of the Queen Esther story, with quizzes between each chapter.  A video, DVD and CD-Rom of the same title are also available. (For grade 2 – 6).

 

Patz, Naomi. The Jewish Holiday Treasure Trail. Springfield, NJ: Behrman House, 2009.

This is a workbook similar to "The Great Israeli Scavenger Hunt." An American boy Daniel and his Israeli cousin Rivkah follow a game board "Treasure Trail" with 12 stops one for each Jewish holiday. After each stop they check in with Elijah. A website goes along with the workbook www.ElijahRocks.net with holiday games and activities. A lesson plan manual and a teacher’s guide are available. (For grades 2 – 3).

 

 Silverman, Erica. Raisel’s Riddle. New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1999.

A Cinderella theme, set during Purim.  Raisel, a mistreated servant girl, wins the heart of the rabbi's son through both her beauty and her knowledge of Talmud.  Illustrated by Susan Gaber. (For grades 1 – 4).

 

Steinberg, Paul. Celebrating the Jewish Year: The Winter Holidays: Hanukkah, Tu b'Shevat, Purim. Philadelphia: The Jewish Publication Society, 2007.

The guide contains stories, essays, poems, anecdotes, and rituals about the history of each holiday, as well as its theological, ethical, agricultural, and seasonal importance and interpretation.  There is a chapter on Purim.  (For adults).

 

Stern, Ariella. Purim: Guess Who? New York: HaChai, 2013.

Purim riddles that children can lift-the-flaps to see the answers. Illustrated by Patti Argoff. (For preschool and kindergarten).

 

 Terwilliger, Kelly. Barnyard Purim. Minneapolis: Kar-Ben, 2012.

Farmer Max's animals decide to put on a Purim play, directed by Chicken. Illustrated by Barbara Johansen Newman. (For preschool – grade 2).

 

 Watts, Irene N. A Telling Time. Vancouver, BC: Tradewinds, 2004.

A grandmother tells her granddaughter about how she was one of a group of children who visited the rabbi's study to hear the story of Esther during the Holocaust. Illustrated by Kathryn E. Shoemaker. (For grades 5 – 8).

 

Zolkower, Edie Stoltz. When It's Purim. Minneapolis: Kar-Ben, 2009.

A rhyming board book that shows animals making hamantashen and mishlo-ah manot baskets. Illustrated by Barb Bjornson. (For preschool).

 

 Audio-Visual

 

Be Happy, It’s Purim! Israel: SISU/Shalom Sesame Workshop, 2011.

 

Celebrate Purim in Israel with the Shalom Sesame characters.  Learn the story of Queen Esther with Avigail and make hamantashen with Mahboub. Also, visit the city of Eilat. A magazine with the same title can be used with or without the film. (For preschool – grade 2).

 

Esther and the King. Musical Adventures in Faith. Universal City, CA:  Lightstone, 2006.

DVD, 64 min. When a modern-day girl named Amelia faces a challenge in her life, her mother tells her about the courage of the Jewish orphan Esther. Amelia’s imagination becomes a musical dramatization of the Book of Esther. (For grades 3 – 8).

 

Esther: The Girl Who Became Queen. VeggieTales. Big Idea. 2012.

DVD, 30 min. An animated, humorous retelling of the story of Esther.  In this version all the characters are vegetables. (For preschool – grade 2).        

 

Websites

 Jewish Outreach Institute. Celebrate. Purim. http://www.joi.org/celebrate/purim/index.shtml

Background information about Purim for people learning about Judaism and interfaith families.

 

Lookstein Center. http://www.lookstein.org/resources/purim.htm

Purim lesson plans, activities and articles created by Lookstein Center staff or contributed by Jewish educators.

 

 

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Andrea Davidson

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adavidson@ttti.org

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