Book Review | Here Come the Purim Players!
by Barbara Cohen

Score: 3.5

Illustrated by Shoshana Mekibel

Text © 1984, Barbara Cohen. Illustrations © 1998 UAHC Press.

All the Jews living in the Prague ghetto hear the announcement, “the Purim Players are coming!” A troupe of excellent entertainers has come to share a Purim Shpiel with the entire town. As they entertain with their interpretation of the Book of Esther, the crowd merrily joins in, booing and hissing at the evil Haman, cheering and clapping for the heroic Mordecai and Esther. When at last the play is finished, the players receive their rewards of coins, all in attendance enjoy a Purim feast and singing and dancing last well into the night.

Barbara Cohen’s (z’l) works are always excellent and lasting. Her rendition of the Esther story, as a play performed for the villagers of Prague, could not be finer. The inclusion of the crowd’s participation throughout provides the perfect counterpoint to her version of the story.  No doubt, their commentary will engender many a laugh during a read aloud. The illustrations are beautiful, soft and appealing. You want to join this merry band of players and their audience yourself.

Grade Level: K-3

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