Barn­yard Purim

Kel­ly Ter­williger; Bar­bara Johansen New­man, illus.

  • Review
By – August 7, 2012

When Farmer Max goes off to see a Purim play, the resource­ful ani­mals he has left behind decide to put on their own Purim play. The biggest of them all, Horse, seems a nat­ur­al choice for the role of the King. Goat’s beard makes him a shoo-in for Morde­cai, and sweet, bash­ful Duck is the per­fect Esther. Sheep, though, isn’t at all com­fort­able play­ing the evil Haman; why do the cows keep moo­ing so mean­ly at him? Maybe a cos­tume will make it eas­i­er to pre­tend. Just as Sheep is get­ting into a prop­er­ly vil­lain­ous fox cos­tume, a real fox appears in the barn­yard and at first no one knows who’s who. It takes a very brave Queen Esther” and the com­bined efforts of all the farm ani­mals to save the day and ban­ish the actu­al fox. Bra­vo! What a show! Ener­getic and charm­ing­ly zany illus­tra­tions show­case each dis­tinct ani­mal per­son­al­i­ty. The book is prob­a­bly a bet­ter choice for chil­dren already famil­iar with Purim; the actu­al Purim sto­ry, along with its moral and eth­i­cal dilem­mas, takes a back­seat to the zany com­mo­tion here. But on its own mer­its, the tale will prob­a­bly have young read­ers quack­ing up.” Rec­om­mend­ed­for ages 5 – 9.

Leslie Kim­mel­man grew up out­side Philadel­phia and grad­u­at­ed from Mid­dle­bury Col­lege in Ver­mont. She is the author of many children’s books, awards for which include Best Children’s Books of the Year from the Bank Street Col­lege of Edu­ca­tion; Notable Children’s Trade Books in the Field of Social Stud­ies; and Syd­ney Tay­lor Notable Books. Kim­mel­man is an edi­tor at Sesame Work­shop and lives with her fam­i­ly just north of New York City.

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