cover image Purim Play

Purim Play

Roni Schotter, Marylin Hafner. Little Brown and Company, $15.45 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-316-77518-2

In Schotter's clever introduction to Purim, the show must go on, even if two performers have the flu. Every year, Frannie, her brother Ezra, and their two cousins put on a Purim play, reenacting the Bible story of how Queen Esther saved the Jews from the evil prime minister Haman. When her cousins fall ill and can't perform, Frannie is disappointed that her neighbor Mrs. Teplitzky offers to play one of the roles. But her worries are soon put to rest when Mrs. Teplitzky, who used to be a real actress, arrives in a splendid costume. Within this framework, Schotter weaves in details about hamantaschen (the special Purim pastries) and the tradition of mishloah manot (sending Purim sweets to relatives and friends). Hafner's lively watercolors depict a busy, close-knit family enjoying last-minute holiday preparations. Two helpful endnotes explain the story of Purim and how it is celebrated, and a recipe for ""Mama's Famous `Bet-You-Can't-Eat-Just-One' Apricot-Orange Hamantaschen"" is also included. Ages 4-8. (Mar.)