Like the others in this series, this photo essay follows the appealing preschoolers in a Jewish nursery school as they prepare to celebrate a holiday. This time, it’s Purim. The children use their blocks to build the king’s palace in Shushan. Then they march in a Purim parade, dressed as a hamantaschen, Queen Esther, Haman, Mordechai, and palace guards. They make groggers (noise-makers) out of cans which they fill with birdseed. The author suggests that these can be used to pour the seeds into their bird feeders after Purim, and gives clear, simple directions for making the groggers. The idea that these recycled cans may be used again, to feed the seeds to the birds, can help teach young children about recycling and caring for the earth. When their teacher reads them the Purim story, they shake their groggers whenever they hear Haman’s name. Later they deliver shalach manot (gifts of food) to their family and friends. On each page the simple text briefly explains what the children are happily engaged in doing, while Tod Cohen’s full-color photos capture perfectly their exuberance in celebrating Purim. At the end is a brief explanation of the holiday, which is appropriate for using with preschoolers. Like the others in the series (It’s Challah Time!, It’s Sukkah Time!, It’s Hanukkah Time!, and It’s Seder Time!) this is just right for Jewish nursery classrooms. For ages 2 – 5.
Andrea Davidson is the librarian of The Temple-Tifereth Israel in Beachwood, Ohio. She holds an M.L.S. from the University of Michigan and is a former member of the Sydney Taylor Book Awards Committee. She enjoys trying out the books she reviews on the kids at the Temple and on her grandchildren.