Bored with being Queen Esther on every Purim, petulant Rebecca takes her mother’s advice and dresses in rags as the exiled Vashti, who, her mother explains, is important because, without her, “the [Purim] story would have turned out very differently for the Jews.” At the Purim festival, the story of Esther is recapitulated and prizes for the best costumes are given out. When the judges overlook Rebecca, she speaks up, telling them that “Vashti is the most important person in the story.” The puzzled judges are persuaded so Rebecca gets her prize and at the Megillah reading, joyfully thinks of Vashti, “without whom Esther could not have saved the Jewish people.” The text is accompanied by full page pictures and both are framed by simple borders. For ages 6 – 9.
Linda R. Silver is a specialist in Jewish children’s literature. She is editor of the Association of Jewish Libraries’ Jewish Valuesfinder, www.ajljewishvalues.org, and author of Best Jewish Books for Children and Teens: A JPS Guide (The Jewish Publication Society, 2010) and The Jewish Values Finder: A Guide to Values in Jewish Children’s Literature (Neal-Schuman, 2008).