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Showing posts sorted by relevance for query Queen Esther. Sort by date Show all posts
Showing posts sorted by relevance for query Queen Esther. Sort by date Show all posts

The Story of Queen Esther -- Exploring Iran/Persia

Do you know the story of Queen Esther? Many people do not even though Esther is a book in the Old Testament as well as one of the great female Bible heroes. She even has a Jewish holiday where they celebrate her and her courage to save the Jews of Persia. Her story is Hazel's favorite Bible story and Hazel was very excited when I explained that Esther was Queen of Persia which is now called Iran and the country we have been exploring with Global Learning for Kids this month. 
Edwin Long - Queen Esther - Google Art Project
Queen Esther by Edwin Long 
[Public domain or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Fairy Tales in Different Cultures: Raisel's Riddle


This week we are traveling back to Poland for another Jewish Cinderella story. Earlier this month we reviewed The Way Meat Loves Salt. So for the history and information on Poland, please go to that post. 
Polish Flag (Source)

Today's book focuses on the Jewish holiday, Purim. Now Purim is a celebration of when Queen Esther saved the Jews from death in Persia. For those who are Christian the Book of Esther is in the Christian Bible as well in the Old Testament. I have had the pleasure of teaching this unit in Sunday School twice now. 

The story of Esther is she lives with her uncle (in some versions he is her cousin), Mordecai in Persia. They are Jewish. Mordecai is a guard/gate keeper at the palace of King Ahasuerus (King Xerxes in some versions). At some point the king becomes angry with his queen and throws her out of the land after the suggestion of his aid, Haman (the villain of our story). Now the king needs a new queen so he send out his army to bring back all the beautiful eligible maidens in Persia so he can choose one as his new queen. Esther is taken. Mordecai warns her not to let anyone know she is Jewish and in fact in some versions it is said this is when her name became Esther. Anyway, Esther is chosen as the new queen. While she is queen, Haman convinces the king to sign a decree to kill all the Jews in Persia. Mordecai gets word to Queen Esther that she must do something to stop this and even though it is against the law and punishable by death, she goes to the king without being invited after fasting for three days. She invites him and Haman to a feast. At the feast she invites them again the next night. Finally she tells the king that someone wants to kill her and all her people. When he asks who, she tells him it is Haman since she is Jewish. Haman is ordered to death by the king and all the Jewish people are saved. 
Hamentaschen (Source)

This holiday is celebrated usually in March. Since the Jewish calendar is different than the Gregorian calendar most commonly used today, the date actually changes each year. This year it was celebrated at the end of February. The holiday is celebrated with costumes (often like the people in the story of Esther) and noise makers called gragers used whenever Haman's name is mentioned. The story is retold during the celebration. It is also custom to send food and drinks as gifts as well as give to charity during Purim. Another custom is making triangular cookies filled with jam called hamentaschen. (Source

Now onto our book. This week we are looking at Raisel's Riddle by Erica Silverman. In this story Raisel lives with her grandfather in a small village in Poland. He is a scholar and many people in the village seek his advice and pay for it with food, fire wood, etc. She asks her grandfather to teach her to be a scholar. He tells her that learning is more valuable than rubies and gold since it can never be taken away from you. One cold winter her grandfather dies. She leaves the village since she does not want to be a burden on anyone and goes into the city to look for work. After knocking on many doors she comes to the house of a rabbi. The cook answers the door and tries to turn her away, but the rabbi comes to the door and says that the cook/housekeeper could of course use some help. The cook is not happy about it and is worried Raisel is after her job. She treats her badly and gives her some straw to sleep on behind the stove. Raisel grins and bears it.
One day Raisel is carrying firewood and the rabbi's son bumps into her and causes her to drop the wood. He stops to apologize and helps her carry the wood to the kitchen. The cook is very upset that she talked to the rabbi's son and threatens to lock her in the pantry if she cannot stay out of sight.
Haman, Mordecai, Esther and King Ahasuerus

On the day of Purim, the rabbi and his family have company over for a feast before going to the Purim Play. While serving the food Raisel hears the young women telling the rabbi's son riddles. She wants to stay and listen more but the cook pulls her into the kitchen threatening her again. When all the dinner guests leave for the play, Raisel comments how she would like to go. The cook laughs at her and tells her to get her dinner from what is left and then to start on the dishes. Raisel takes her dinner outside where she sees an elderly woman who looks extremely hungry. Raisel gives her dinner to this woman. The woman tells her she will grant Raisel three wishes for her kindness, but to remember magic only lasts until midnight. Raisel wishes for a Purim costume and then a horse drawn wagon to go to the play. 

Raisel turns heads as she walks into the play. She is told she has the best Queen Esther costume in the room. After the play a band starts up and the rabbi's son comes over to talk to Raisel. When he asks where she lives, she realizes he does not recognize her as the rag girl from his kitchen. She avoids answering by telling him a riddle which she makes up based on what her grandfather said about learning. Then she hears the clock to start striking midnight and she rushes away. When she gets back to the house and sees the huge pile of dishes and pots and pans she makes her third wish to have the kitchen clean.

The next day she notices people coming over again and asks the cook about the company. Since she used the term "we" in asking, the cook locks her in the pantry. In the pantry there is only one ray of light coming in and it is from a hole to the dining room. She is able to see and hear everything going on in there. The Rabbi says that his son met a woman who told him a riddle the previous night and that is the woman he wants to marry. All the young woman come forward telling him their riddles again, but none of them are the one. He finally says how it had rubies and gold and forever in it. Raisel realizes it is her riddle and knocks on the door as loudly as she can. The son comes in and asks the cook what is going on and the cook says the rag girl is cleaning the pantry, but Raisel tells him she told him a riddle the previous night. He lets her out and she begins the riddle and he finishes it and then asks her to marry him. Her response is only if he can answer her riddle. He of course knows it is learning. They get married and live and learn happily ever after.

For our crafts this week I made our clothespin doll with her dressed as Queen Esther. I also shared the cardboard tube characters Hazel made in Sunday School when we studied Esther. If we have time I may make some hamentaschen with Hazel, but since we were too busy celebrating Easter today, we did not get around to it.


Exploring Purim -- Jewish Holiday


Costume parades in the spring? What is going on? Halloween is in October and not in the spring. Well for many Jewish people costume parades and wearing costumes to synagogue in the spring (usually in March) is common. Why? Well they are celebrating a holiday called Purim. Purim is celebrated on the fourteenth day of the Hebrew month of Adar. The Hebrew calendar is a lunar calendar so it changes from our days and months each year. It is a joyous holiday with much celebration. Why do they celebrate? To remember how Queen Esther saved the Jewish people in Persia around 500 B.C. Now Esther's story is a book in the Old Testament of our Bible as well and Queen Esther happens to be Hazel's favorite woman in the Bible. We know her story well and really wish we celebrated Purim as well. In fact she dressed up as Queen Esther for our Christian Halloween Party
http://craftymomsshare.blogspot.com/2015/10/christian-halloween-party.html

 She also wore the costume when we explored Iran and reviewed Queen Esther's story as part of Global Learning for Kids. For this we made a crown and scepter to go with the story as well as peg people to retell the story.

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. 

Christian Halloween Party

Disclosure: I was sent these items to review free of charge from Oriental Trading. All opinions in this post are my own. I did not receive any other compensation for this review. I am including links to the products for your convenience but do not receive anything if you buy from them.

 Now I have not been shy about my feelings about Halloween. I really hate the gore and how far people take it. Hazel is easily frightened and I can no longer take her into some stores because of the Halloween products. I have tried and regret it due to the bad dreams she has. When I was offered to do a post using Halloween products from Oriental Trading, I hesitated, but then remembered all their great Sunday School supplies. Hazel and I planned a Christian Halloween Party. Many of the parents at her school do not celebrate the holiday or take their kids to a church event on Halloween. Needless to say many feel like I do about the holiday. We started by sending out an Evite. We asked the guests to dress as their favorite Biblical character. Hazel wanted to be Queen Esther. I let her pick out the color of the Nativity Child Costume she wanted and she picked the Pink Nativity Child Costume. We made a handknit belt to wear with it and added beads to the ends. (Hazel ended up being the only one to wear a costume, but she did not care. She was really excited to be Queen Esther.)



Bible Fun -- Summertime Fun!


Disclosure: I was given copies of these books free of charge for this review. All opinions in my review are my own and I did not receive any other compensation.  As in all my reviews I am providing links for your ease, but receive no compensation.

Yesterday I shared a book about the importance of adding fun to our lives and the start of my new series--Summertime Fun. For our first Summertime Fun I thought I would share some fun resources for fun with the Bible. Since Hazel goes to a Christian school, I know during the summer there will be less church and Bible time for her, so I wanted to make sure to give her some resources to keep up with her Bible time. To start we are sharing two of Marcia Goldlist's The Bible in Rhyme. Marcia emailed me e-copies of Enjoying the Book of Esther and Enjoying the Book of Ruth

Sharing Saturday 15-35



Thank you to everyone who shared last week!! There were so many great ideas shared!! The features this week are for Fall Features, September Features and Educational Features. Remember the features are just a sampling of the things shared so if you did not get a chance to check them all out, go back and be inspired!

The Thinking Girl's Treasury of Real Princesses from Goosebottom Books -- Women's History Month

Disclosure: I was sent these books to review free of charge from Goosebottom Books. All opinions in this post are my own. I did not receive any other compensation for this review. I am including links to each item for your convenience but do not receive anything if you purchase them.

Back in January I had the pleasure of reviewing my first Goosebottom Book for Multicultural Children's Book Day. The book was Hatshepsut of Egypt and we learned about the first female pharaoh of Egypt. At the time I reviewed an e-book and loved the book, but now that I have actually seen the hardcover book I have to tell you the e-book does not do it justice. I actually passed on the book to Hazel's school since the third grade class learns about Hatshepsut during their study of Ancient Egypt. The principal loved the book as well. Along with the hard copy of Hatshepsut of Egypt I was sent five more of the books in the Thinking Girl's Treasury of Real Princesses to share with you today. I love learning about these amazing women most of whom I had not heard of previously. Update: My review of Isabella of Castile is now published.

Finger Knitting Fun and Pom Pom Kits -- Product Reviews

Disclosure: I was sent these books to review free of charge from Quarto Books USA. All opinions in this post are my own. I did not receive any other compensation for this review. I am including links to each item for your convenience but do not receive anything if you purchase them.

What can you do with a ball of yarn? Lots of things, but here are some fun crafts that you do not need much more than a ball of yarn to make. Both of these crafts were handwork Hazel would have done if she remained in the Waldorf school, but since she is no longer attending there, I got to do them with her. The handwork was one of the things I loved about the Waldorf school. Hazel and I started with two Pompom kits. The first is Make Pompom Animals.

http://www.quartoknows.com/books/9781589238633/Make-Pompom-Animals.html
The kit comes with a book, six balls of yarn, two pompom makers in different sizes and some googly eyes and paper clips. I started by making a blue bird similar to the one on the cover.


Religious Books for Different Ages

Disclosure: I was sent these books to review free of charge in exchange for an honest review. All opinions in this post are my own. I did not receive any other compensation for this review.

Today we are going to share with you some wonderful religious themed books for different ages. This post will also include three Hazel's Corners! The first is Princess Prayers by Jeanna Young, Jacqueline Kinney Johnson, and Omar Aranda. This a sparkly book filled with prayers for various times of day and different events for your little princess.

Non-Scary Halloween Part 2 -- Non-Scary Costumes

Disclosure: I was sent these items to review free of charge from Oriental Trading. All opinions in this post are my own. I did not receive any other compensation for this review.

Yesterday I shared some great products from Oriental Trading for a Peanuts themed Halloween party, non-food treats and a few dress-up accessories. Today I get to share Hazel's costume and some other great costume ideas and fun. Now Hazel spent quite a bit of time going through the available costumes at Oriental Trading. Being the sensitive child she is she does not want anything remotely scary. She got it down between two options the Mystical Genie Girls Halloween Costume and the Southern Belle Girls Halloween Costume. She finally decided on the Mystical Genie Costume. We had just seen Aladdin live at the theatre and the version had a female genie who was dressed pretty similarly. (She did ask for the Southern Belle Costume for Christmas from my mother-in-law and I ordered it for her.)

Princess in Black and the Perfect Princess Party -- Book Review & Costume

Disclosure: Candlewick Press gave me an advance copy of this book free of charge to review. All opinions in my review are my own and I did not receive any other compensation. As in all my reviews I am providing links for your ease, but receive no compensation.

Have you discovered The Princess in Black yet? I wrote about our discovery of this amazing series back in July. Hazel chose The Princess in Black as her prize for finishing the Barnes and Noble Summer Reading Program. It had been a tough choice, but she was really glad with the outcome!! This became one of her favorite books ever. Then we discovered that a new Princess in Black book was coming out October 13th and from Candlewick Press--one of our favorite publishers. I asked for a review copy and they sent it right away. Can I tell you how excited Hazel was to have the second book in the series months early? Oh, my, she has been telling everyone about it. Anyway, today we are sharing The Princess in Black and The Perfect Princess Party by Shannon Hale and Dean Hale and illustrated by LeUyen Pham. 

Exploring Iran with Books & Music

Disclosure: Wisdom Tales Press gave me a copy of this product free of charge. All opinions in my review are my own and I did not receive any other compensation. As in all my reviews I am providing links for your ease, but receive no compensation.

Take a moment to check out my post on the Middle East and enter the Middle Eastern and North African Heritage Month Giveaway over at Multicultural Kid Blogs! Global Learning for Kids has left Lebanon and headed to Iran. Now recently I turned on the radio in the car to check the traffic report and we caught a small snip of the news and they were quoting someone from Iran about how Americans will always be their enemy. Hazel only heard a few words, but it was enough for her to question me what was said and why. Unfortunately, this was her first introduction to Iran. Now we are going to spend time to explore Iran and focus on some of the positives this month, but I know we will not be able to overcome that statement in her mind. However she has been enjoying stories from Iran, well actually Persia which is now Iran.  


We were lucky enough to get two fun Persian stories from Wisdom Tales Press and both are prizes in the giveaway. These are books you will want to add to your multicultural library, so make sure to enter or go buy them!!

Multicultural Children's Book Day is Here!! Link Party #ReadYourWorld

Share at Sharing Saturday This Week!! 


It is here!! Today is Multicultural Children's Book Day 2018!! As a co-host I get to provide the link party right here, so be sure to check out all the amazing reviews of these multicultural books. There is something for everyone!! Be sure to check out my reviews this year (and past years) as well: Orthodox Christian Holidays, a mystery chapter book about a Chinese American in Australia, Harriet Tubman, STEM book on water cycle, the African-American women computers, engineers, and more of NASA, and a Japanese fairy tale and a picture book about an African-American photographer

A Japanese Fairy Tale and James VanDerZee -- a Multicultural Children's Book Day Review


Disclosure: Lee and Low sent me these books in exchange for honest reviews. All opinions are my own.

Today I get to share my final two reviews for Multicultural Children's Book Day 2018. I am sharing two very different books with you from different cultures. The first book is a classic Japanese fairy tale. It is The Crane Girl by Curtis Manley and illustrated by Lin Wang. 

Hidden Women -- a Multicultural Children's Book Day Review

Disclosure: Capstone Publishing sent me this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Have you seen Hidden Figures? It is in Hazel's top three favorite movies of all times. Our family went to see it on Martin Luther King Day last year. Last year I wrote about the real women in the story for Black History Month. And before the movie I had done a post about Katherine Johnson for a previous Black History Month. Needless to say this is a topic near and dear to us. I jumped at the chance to review a new book called Hidden Women: The African-American Mathematicians of NASA Who Helped Win the Space Race by Rebecca Rissman. 

Water Is Water - a Multicultural Children's Book Day Review

Disclosure: Miranda Paul sent me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own!

It is hard to believe Multicultural Children's Book Day is less than a week away!! I still have several books to review for it, so keep looking this week!! Today I get to share with you a beautiful book with a STEM focus. I love when picture books have lessons in them and this one does. It is Water Is Water by Miranda Paul and illustrated by Jason Chin

Before She Was Harriet -- a Multicultural Children's Book Day Review

Disclosure: Holiday House sent me this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own!

January 27th is fast approaching!! Today I get to share with you another amazing book for Multicultural Children's Book Day. The book today is about someone I am sure you have heard of, Harriet Tubman. The book is Before She Was Harriet by Lesa Cline-Ransome and illustrated by James E. Ransome.

Mystery of the Min Min Lights - a Multicultural Children's Book Day Review

Disclosure: Janelle Diller of Pack-n-Go Girls sent me this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. 

It is hard to believe the Multicultural Children's Book Day is coming quickly. It is on January 27th and I am a co-host so be sure to come back and check out all the reviews at the link up!! 


Orthodox Christian Holidays -- a Multicultural Children's Book Day Review

Disclosure: Charlotte Riggle sent me these books in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. 

Do you know anyone who is Orthodox Christian? I have good friends who are Greek Orthodox so I have some idea of the Orthodox traditions, but of course they are also different for different cultures and areas. However today I am sharing some amazing books to share some Orthodox traditions around two holidays--St. Nicholas Day and Easter. These books are by Charlotte Riggle and illustrated by R.J. Hughes. Both books have the same characters in it: Catherine and her best friend Elizabeth and Catherine's family. Since St. Nicholas Day was last week (Wednesday), I will start with Saint Nicholas Day Snow. (By the way today is St. Lucia Day, but as I am running late on my December holiday posts that one will be late as well.)