Purim Chick­en

Margery Cuyler; Puy Pinil­los, illus.
  • Review
By – June 6, 2017

In this gai­ly illus­trat­ed and humor­ous sto­ry, Cluck the Hen hopes to play the part of Queen Esther in the ani­mals’ annu­al Purim play. But, as usu­al, the role goes to Quack the Duck. Though Cluck is dis­ap­point­ed, she enthu­si­as­ti­cal­ly prac­tices her part — mak­ing the loud­est pos­si­ble clucks when­ev­er the name of the evil Haman is men­tioned. But on the after­noon before Purim, Quack dis­ap­pears. Cluck dis­cov­ers the foot­prints of Fox near the pond and fol­lows them into the woods. In a clear­ing, she sees Fox light­ing a fire under a big pot — and Quack tied to a tree. Cluck has nev­er been more ter­ri­fied, but must act fast to save Quack from becom­ing duck soup. Think­ing of Queen Esther, who risked her own life to save the Jews of Per­sia from Haman, Cluck finds the courage she needs. She hurls her­self at Fox, cluck­ing and peck­ing at him until he runs away. Quack quacks out the sto­ry of Cluck’s brave res­cue to the rest of the ani­mals, and then sug­gests that Cluck should play Queen Esther. All of the rol­lick­ing and expres­sive scenes are fit­ting for this mer­ry Purim sto­ry, a day of joy and celebration.

Rec­om­mend­ed for ages 3 – 6.

Susan Kan­tor was a senior writer/​editor for Girl Scouts of the USA, a chil­dren’s book edi­tor, and a past judge for the Nation­al Jew­ish Book Awards in the illus­trat­ed children’s book cat­e­go­ry. She is a writer and a docent at the Rubin Muse­um in New York City, where she leads pub­lic and pri­vate tours.

Discussion Questions