The Purim Superhero

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
This winner of a 2011 children’s book contest sponsored by Keshet, an advocacy group for GLBT Jews, tells the story of Nate, who wants to dress up as an alien for Purim when all his male friends are going as superheroes. Can Nate avoid feeling sidelined (“He thought about being the only boy who wouldn’t be a superhero”), while still following his heart—a core value of both the Purim story and his two fathers, Abba and Daddy (“You know,” says Abba, “not all boys have to be the same thing”)? Debut author Kushner can be wordy and overly earnest (an ironic effect, since Purim is basically the Jewish Mardi Gras). But she never overplays the relationship of Nate’s own family to the story, allowing her hero to own his struggle fully and devise a solution that offers membership in something bigger while still defining that membership on his own terms. Byrne’s cheery cartooned scenes and wide-eyed characters reinforce the story’s benevolent perspective, but offer few surprises or opportunities for even a small chuckle. Ages 4–9. (Mar.)
Kirkus Reviews
People forget that Superman is an alien. This book is a reminder that that's the source of his strength. Here's a secret that isn't taught in school: Everyone has a superpower. It might be drawing monsters or kindness to strangers or the ability to read an unusual number of books. Nate's power is that he feels like an alien. He's the only boy in his class with two fathers, Daddy and Abba. All the boys in Nate's Hebrew school class are dressing up as superheroes for Purim, but Nate really wants a green costume with antennae. (Comic-book fans would, of course, suggest that he dress as the Martian Manhunter.) "Sometimes showing who you really are makes you stronger," Abba says, "even if you're different from other people." Nate's secret power gives him unusual creativity, and his solution wins him an award for most original costume. Byrne's illustrations make the ending especially satisfying, with half-a-dozen young superheroes standing around in tennis shoes. (Longtime superhero fans, however, will feel old when they see Wolverine in a picture book.) A generation from now, this book may feel hopelessly outdated: A moral about tolerance and being yourself may seem painfully obvious. Many will view this as a sign of progress. If that happens, it will be because of the work of heroes like Nate. For now, this book is both timely and entirely satisfying. (Picture book. 4-9)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780761390626
  • Publisher: Kar-Ben Publishing
  • Publication date: 2/28/2013
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 820,029
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.60 (w) x 10.10 (h) x 0.20 (d)

Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 16, 2013

    Fantastic book!

    Beautiful story about loving your self and facing your fears. Easy for kids to "get it" and a fun read with great illustrations.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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