The Story of Esther a Purim Tale retold by Eric A. Kimmel

The Story of Esther a Purim Tale retold by Eric Kimmel and Illustrated by Jill Weber; ages 3-6; Holiday House; 2010; $16.95

In a picture book filled with lush illustrations and rich text, illustrator Jill Weber and author Eric Kimmel bring the Bible story of Esther to vibrant life.

After removing the queen from her post, Ahasuerus, King of Persia, summons all the maidens of the country to choose one as his new bride and queen. Astounded by her natural beauty, the King chooses Esther, who is Jewish. Meanwhile, Esther’s uncle, Mordecai, hears of a plot to assassinate the King and reports it. The plot is foiled and, though recorded, the King is not made aware that his life had been saved by Mordecai. Some time after these events, Mordecai offends the King’s chief minister, Haman, by refusing to bow down to him. Enraged, Haman misuses power given to him by the King to decree that all Jewish people, young and old, be killed; constructing a special gallows for Mordecai himself. Mordecai asks Esther to speak to the King to spare the Jewish people. Esther arranges a feast, where she plans to Haman’s devious plot.

The colorful full-page illustrations evoke the vibrant tapestries of Persia. Filled with reds, yellows, blues and violets, the illustrations add new dimension to the very full textual story. Great for those who are celebrating Purim, interested in the Purim story or just looking for another wonderful picture book to read.

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