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The Story of Esther: A Purim Tale Hardcover – February 1, 2011


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 5 and up
  • Grade Level: Kindergarten and up
  • Lexile Measure: 670L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Holiday House (February 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0823422232
  • ISBN-13: 978-0823422234
  • Product Dimensions: 11.1 x 8.8 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #719,457 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Eric A. Kimmel is a celebrated children’s author and
master storyteller. His books have won National Jewish
Book Awards, and he has been given the Sydney Taylor
Lifetime Achievement Award. He lives in Oregon.

Jill Weber is a children’s book illustrator, book designer, and college art teacher. Her work has been praised for its “childlike feel” and “vibrant appeal.” She lives in New Hampshire.


More About the Author

Eric A. Kimmel is a native New Yorker who lives in Oregon. He was born in Brooklyn, NY where he learned to love books and traditional stories from an early age. He could hear five different languages without leaving his block. Eric taught teachers as a professor of Education at Indiana University at South Bend and Portland State University. His favorite classes were children's literature, language arts, storytelling, and handwriting. He left the university in 1993 to become a full-time writer, a dream he had had since kindergarten.

Eric's books have won numerous awards. He and his wife Doris have traveled all over the world, sharing his books and stories with school children in China, Africa, and Turkey.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By AJL Reviews on February 16, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Kimmel's latest reads the way a storyteller sounds. His solid holiday tale parallels Purim's origins as recorded originally in Torah passages. His text is long, dense and colorful with rich vocabulary in the embroidered dialogues underlining biblical action. This length offers a good volume for third graders who often consider themselves readers too advanced for picture books. The serious, bordering on stern, words get a lift from Weber's delightful illustrations which suggest humor and foreshadow the happy ending. Beauty pageant, murder plots, political jockeying, and manipulating feasts unroll in biblical order. Esther wins with natural beauty and few adornments which, though not part of Torah details, offer a lovely message to the would-be princess crowd. Readers discover the assimilated culture of Persia, the sad fate of Vashti, Esther's dedication to her Judaism, Mordecai's descent from Jewish captives in Babylonia, Haman's use of dice and its connection to the holiday's name. The book teaches much in a captivating way through exciting plot, beautiful women with strong moral fiber, daring Jewish heroes vanquishing an evil scoundrel and a big party to celebrate, not once but every year, a glorious victory. Well done, well recommended! For grades 1-3.
Ellen G. Cole
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By B. Miller on May 5, 2011
Format: Hardcover
This biblical tale is full of action, political intrigue and murder plots. Not typical fare for a children's picturebook? In the hands of master storyteller Eric Kimmel, the tale of Esther and the origins of Purim becomes a captivating, enriched adaptation. But as Eric offers in a recent interview, "...it's a very problematical text. It's not really a children's story - it's full of sex and violence. It would make a great video game." He pars down the traditional text, changing some of the details to make the story accessible. But the theme remains true: In times of trouble, have faith, and don't give up.

Esther is the clever heroine. Commanded to the king's palace, Esther wins the king's heart with her natural beauty and wit. Meanwhile, the king's chief minister Haman becomes enraged when Mordecai, Esther's uncle, refuses to bow down to him. He vows revenge on Mordecai's family and people. When Esther learns of the wicked plot, she must use every shred of her wit to save them. The plot is full of twists and turns as clever Esther devices a plan to save her beloved uncle and people.

Jill Weber blends acrylic, gouache, tempera and watercolor inks, creating a brilliant display of color and form that evoke ancient tapestries.

This makes a wonderful addition to your collection!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Freelancer on February 11, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Fast delivery, inexpensive and good quality for a used book.
I read it to my religious school students (Jewish) and it
spurred some good discussion, although it is missing some
major points from the original Megillah.
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