Esther's Story

Overview

Almost twenty-five centuries ago, a shy orphan girl was unexpectedly chosen as queen of Persia. Blessed with majesty and humanity, she risked the wrath of a king to save her people. Esther's inspiring voice comes to life in her diaries, inviting all to share in the joy celebrated around the world as Purim.

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Overview

Almost twenty-five centuries ago, a shy orphan girl was unexpectedly chosen as queen of Persia. Blessed with majesty and humanity, she risked the wrath of a king to save her people. Esther's inspiring voice comes to life in her diaries, inviting all to share in the joy celebrated around the world as Purim.

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Editorial Reviews

Jewish Book World
The writing is masterful, created by one of the master storytellers of the world. Ms. Wolkstein meticulously researches the history, folklore, and cultures she portrays in her stories and books....Let us hope that we continue to be blessed with more Jewish tales from this extraordinary teller and writer.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Just in time for Purim comes this lovely retelling of the story of Esther, the young Jewish girl who became a Persian queen and saved her fellow Jews from annihilation. Wolkstein casts this inspiring biblical tale in the form of a diary. In her own words, Esther tells how she came of age in a strange land; she records her hopes, joys, fears and sorrows as she moves from quiet teenager to exalted queen. She reflects, also, upon the meaning of her actions as they affect not only her people but also her understanding of her own identity. Wijngaard's lavish illustrations and Wolkstein's rendering of Esther's first-person narration breathe new humanity into this grand and glorious story, introducing to all children the power of self-sacrifice. Ages 7- up. Feb.
Children's Literature - Susie Wilde
Esther's Story brings alive the Biblical heroine celebrated during Purim. The picturebook story is told in Esther's voice through a series of journal entries that begin when she is eleven and describe her journey from girl to a wise and courageous queen who saves her people. Realistic illustrations by Winjngaard show his dedication to research in the portrayals of this dark-haired beauty, the lavishness of palace settings, and the colors and views chosen to describe the country. He records with care the emotions of all the characters in this dramatic story.
Children's Literature - Judy Chernak
This sensitive memoir/journal of a young girl thrust into a frightening and strange situation will have great appeal to growing girls who must deal with their own often-confusing fears and dreams. The author credits oral legends from Rabbi Yaakov Culi's Yalkut Me'am Lo'ez and Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach, as well as "her own musings," for some of the unusual contents of the book. It begins with an eleven-year-old Hadassah and her troubled Uncle (not Cousin, in this version), who gives her the additional name of Esther--Ishtar, the Persian goddess of love and war, "the first planet to appear every night in the sky" whom she thinks "is very brave to appear all alone when it is dark." At twelve, she is seen and considered as mature by a royal functionary and is taken off to the palace. At sixteen, she is called to the King and, rather than being chosen for her shy, modest beauty among the parade of young women, she is depicted as wearing a red dress to a private royal audience, placing a pink rose from her hair into the King's hair, complimenting him on his beauty and tickling him! Things one would tell only one's diary and perhaps hide from the rest of the world, indeed! This Esther is not brave, she confesses, but afraid and yet seeing no choice but to do what she must do. And she asks her people never to forget this story, which she concludes when she is a white-haired seventy-year-old. The pictures are quite realistic and darkly opulent, and the softcover book should be a favorite with pre-teens.
Children's Literature - Susie Wilde
Esther's Story brings alive the Biblical heroine celebrated during Purim. The picture book story is told in Esther's voice through a series of journal entries that begin when she is eleven and describe her journey from a young girl to a wise and courageous queen who saves her people. Winjngaard's realistic illustrations show his dedication to research in the portrayals of this dark-haired beauty, the lavishness of palace settings, and the colors and views chosen to describe the country. He records with care the emotions of all the characters in this dramatic story.
School Library Journal
Gr 1-5Using the form of a first-person narrative, Wolkstein fleshes out the Biblical heroine's personality. A sheltered young Jewish girl who is elevated to the position of King Ahasuerus's wife, Esther retains her qualities of gentleness, loyalty, and compassion while displaying spirit and intelligence in her plan to foil Haman's nefarious plot to destroy her people. The text is vivid and declarative, with ample dialogue, and leaves the Biblical basis of the story intact, even to the slaughter by the Jews of Haman's many sons and followers. A brief definition of Purim and the way it is celebrated is included, but the emphasis is on the historical/legendary foundation of the holiday. Magnificent full-page gouache illustrations, confined formally in multiple marbleized frames, are rich with gleaming colors and elegant geometric patterns and peopled by handsome, lively characters. The luxury of the royal palace, its furnishings, and the gorgeous costumes of its inhabitants are especially well depicted.Patricia Pearl Dole, formerly at First Presbyterian School, Martinsville, VA
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780688158446
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 1/28/1998
  • Pages: 40
  • Age range: 5 - 8 Years
  • Lexile: 780L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 8.48 (w) x 10.89 (h) x 0.15 (d)

Meet the Author

Diane Wolkstein has been teaching, performing, and writing for over thirty-five years. She is the author of numerous award-winning books of folklore, including The Magic Orange Tree, and Other Haitian Folktales and Inanna, Queen of Heaven and Earth: Her Stories and Hymns from Sumer. Known for her meticulous research as well as her great range as a performer, Ms. Wolkstein traveled to Australia three times while preparing this story. She gives workshops on storytelling worldwide and lives in New York City.

In Her Own Words...

"I love stories. They give me strength, Inspiration, courage, and great delight. For thirty years I've told stories at the statue of Hans Christian Andersen in Central Park. I love watching the eyes of my audience light up as they enter stories. Stories let us explore the farthest places in the universe and the deepest recesses of the human heart. They present possibilities. They let us try out different emotions and characters. Stories are treasures which last forever.

"I also enjoy gardening, dancing, swimming, painting, and creating stories with music. My daughter, Rachel Zucker, is a poet, photographer, and the mother of a little boy named Moses."

Juan Wijngaard lives in Santa Monica, California.

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