Barnyard Purim

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
When Farmer Max bids his barnyard animals goodnight as he heads off to a Purim play, the animals gets moving on a plan: they’ll put on their own Purim play. Horse won’t say nay to his role as King Ahashuerus, and sheep is set to play bad Haman, until another animal sneaks into the barnyard, and Esther doesn’t duck an opportunity for barnyard heroism. Youngest readers who don’t know the story may be slightly confused, but those familiar with the holiday tale will enjoy its barnyard reimagining. The story by Terwilliger (Bubbe Isabella and the Sukkot Cake) economically endows its characters with distinctive personalities. Johansen Newman renders a Purim-lively setting crowded with animals in her full-bleed spreads. Ages 5–9. (Feb.)
School Library Journal
K-Gr 2—The story of how brave Queen Esther saved the Jewish people of Persia from wicked Haman's evil plot is often retold as a play during Purim. When Farmer Max leaves to go to the performance, the animals decide to put on their own production. Chicken appoints himself director and assigns the parts: Duck as Queen Esther, Goat as Mordechai, Horse as King Ahashuerus, and Sheep as Haman, with the cows as noisemakers and the geese as the members of the audience. But when Sheep has difficulty in his role as Haman, Goat takes him into the barn to find a costume to inspire him. Meanwhile, Fox shows up with his eyes on Duck. The animals all assume he is Sheep in a fox costume. When they realize their mistake, they band together to chase the interloper away. The detailed, expressive illustrations add to the animals' personalities, but the lengthy text is heavy on dialogue, making it difficult to distinguish among the characters. Not as accessible as Leone Adelson's The Mystery Bear: A Purim Story (Clarion, 2004), this offering will best be enjoyed by readers already familiar with the Purim story.—Rachel Kamin, North Suburban Synagogue Beth El, Highland Park, IL
Kirkus Reviews
The loud, chaotic celebration of Purim and its companion story is recreated in a farm-animal play that results in a surprising development. After Farmer Max leaves to attend a Purim play, the animals decide to stage their own version. Chicken offers to direct, orchestrating Horse as the King Ahashuerus, Duck as the blushing Queen Esther, bearded Goat as Mordecai, cows as the mooing noisemakers and geese as the audience. Casting a somewhat sensitive Sheep as the evil Haman requires some explanation from Chicken as she retells the holiday's story through her patient direction. "They aren't mooing at YOU...They're mooing at evil Haman." Still fretting over her role, Sheep retreats off stage to dress in, yes, her wolf's costume, while a new character, Fox, suddenly appears on the scene with real evil intentions. Confusion quickly moves to realization, with Duck's bravado leading a flurry of noisy animal antics to scare the fox away before Farmer Max returns with a basket of hamantaschen. Gouache cartoons of wide-eyed, long-lashed characters in muted browns, blacks and tans add enough charm to the required pathos of the text's circumvented telling for this menagerie's megillah. Enjoyable fare for youngsters who already have a concept of the holiday. (Picture books/religion. 5-7)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780761345138
  • Publisher: Kar-Ben Publishing
  • Publication date: 1/1/2012
  • Format: Library Binding
  • Edition description: Library Edition
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 1,523,672
  • Age range: 4 - 7 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.40 (w) x 11.10 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 22, 2012

    Adorable book!!

    Kids will eat this up! I’ve enjoyed the story very much, but the real gem of this book is in the illustrations! Ms. Johansen Newman's paintings are gorgeous. So detailed, vibrant, and beautiful! You'll notice something new on every reading. The facial expressions on the animals are charming. Highly recommended!

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