Esther's Gragger: A Toyshop Tale of Purim Review

Disclosure: Wisdom Tales Press sent me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Did you know the Jewish holiday, Purim, is next week? Purim is held every spring. The date changes since the Jewish calendar is a combined lunar and solar calendar. Purim it the day to remember when Queen Esther saved all the Jewish people from death. Now you may be asking, why is a Christian blogger telling us about a Jewish holiday (possibly that I never heard of). Well the Book of Esther in the Bible tells us the story. It also happens to be Hazel's favorite story in the Bible so we have looked at it quite a bit. Queen Esther had to have faith and courage to save her people and she is someone many girls can use as a role model. An interesting side note is that God is not mentioned in the entire Book of Esther. 

Today I am going to share with you a new Purim storybook. It is Esther's Gragger: A Toyshop Tale of Purim by Martha Seif Simpson and illustrated by D. Yael Bernhard. This is the same team that created The Dreidel That Wouldn't Spin. Note: A gragger is a noisemaker which is shaken whenever the name of the evil man of the story is mentioned to drown out the name. In Esther's Gragger, we are back in the toyshop and the owner hates the noise of the graggers and Purim. He complains to the toy vendor, but decides to sell the beautiful graggers the vendor offers. A boy comes in and wants to buy the gragger that is modeled after Queen Esther for his younger sister because she will be Esther in the parade (and her name is Esther), but he didn't bring enough money to make the purchase. He asks the owner to hold it for him and promises to come back with enough money. The owner is worried since usually when he does this he loses out on a sale since the person doesn't return, but when he hears the story of the sister he goes with it. Another man comes in and wants the same gragger, but this man is not friendly or kind. He offers the owner twice what the other customer is paying. The owner considers this but decides to keep his word. The new customer gets nasty and the owner asks him to leave. The boy and his sister return to get the gragger. When they leave the other customer comes over and tries to take the gragger from them and he threatens them. It is the young girl, Esther, who stands up to the bully first. When people see what is happening they join in and support the girl. The store owner is amazed that a young girl reminded him and everyone of what Purim is really about--having the courage to stand up to a bully.

The story is beautiful as are the illustrations. I love how this story uses a religious holiday to teach a lesson that is found in the story the holiday celebrates. Plus I love that the youngest in the story is the heroine. This book is wonderful for anyone to read even if they do not celebrate Purim because the message is so great. I hope you will check it out!

To go with this book I would make my own gragger. I found a simple tutorial on Youtube to try! There are many more tutorials on-line if you want to try something different! Also be sure to check out Multicultural Kid Blogs 10 Fun Facts for Kids about Purim.