Purim is a Jewish festival that has its roots in the story of Esther. The celebration commemorates Queen Esther and her boldness, which saved the Hebrew people from Haman’s plan to eliminate them.
I have been familiar with Esther’s story for most of my life, but knew very little about how Jewish people celebrate Purim today. So, I did what I usually do in these situations: I grabbed my crew and headed to the library.
These books are wonderful choices both for families that celebrate Purim and those looking to learn more about another experience. For my family, it was a great lesson about how our own religion shares common roots with another faith, and how we express our faiths in different ways. We loved these books about Purim, and I hope your family does, too.
11 Children’s Books About Purim
Sammy Spider’s First Purim by Sylvia Rouss — Sammy is so excited to help Josh celebrate Purim. However, when he gets stuck in a grogger, it seems as though his holiday won’t be a happy one! This book highlights many elements of the Purim celebration, and kids will love the bright, happy illustrations.
The Purim Superhero by Elizabeth Kushner — Nate is looking forward to his synagogue’s Purim celebration, and he really wants to dress up like an alien. However, all of his friends are dressing as superheroes. He’s torn between doing what he wants and fitting in with his friends. With the help of his dads, he makes a decision that is right for him.
Talia and the Haman-Tushie by Linda Elovitz Marshall — When Talia’s Grandma says they are going to make hamantaschen, Talia is grossed out; she thought Grandma said haman-tushie! As the two bake together, Grandma explains the story of Purim and Talia learns more about her heritage. This sweet story is perfect for preschoolers.
The Queen Who Saved Her People by Tilda Balsley — This rhyming tale is a biblically accurate retelling of the story of Esther, in simple language that children can understand. If your family is unfamiliar with this story, this book is a great place to start. It’s also an engaging reminder for those who have heard it before!
Purim Is Coming! by Tracy Newman — Even the littlest readers can in on the fun of Purim! This board book features the various elements of the Purim celebration, punctuated with the refrain that, “Purim is coming!” This selection is great for babies and toddlers, but preschoolers will enjoy it, too.
Purim Chicken by Margery Cuyler — The barnyard animals are putting on a Purim play! When the star of the show, Quack the Duck, goes missing, it’s up to Cluck the Hen to be brave like Esther and save the day. This fun and engaging story about courage is something all kids will relate to, no matter their faith.
Is it Purim Yet? by Chris Barash — How can you tell that Purim is coming? This rhyming story introduces readers to key elements of Purim, like the hamantaschen, the Megillah, and the traditional costumes. It’s part of an excellent series that introduces kids to Jewish holidays.
Cakes and Miracles: A Purim Tale by Barbara Diamond Goldin — As the only visually-impaired person in his village, Herschel is sad that he misses out on many elements of the Purim celebration. More than anything, he wants to be able to help his mother prepare the hamantaschen. An angel visits him in a dream and encourages him to make what he sees, and when he does, the results are beautiful.
The Mystery Bear: A Purim Story by Leone Adelson — Little Bear wakes up from his long winter nap and heads out to find some food. He’s drawn to a Purim celebration, where the people assume he is simply a child in a bear costume! A little boy suspects that Little Bear might be more than a person in a costume, but everyone else is having too much fun to pay attention.
Purim Play by Roni Schotter — Frannie and Ezra look forward to their family’s Purim play every year. But when two of their cousins wind up with the flu, they wonder if they’ll have to miss out on this special tradition. Their elderly neighbor saves the day in a way they could’ve never imagined!
Barnyard Purim by Kelly Terwilliger — When Farmer Max heads out to a Purim play, he leaves the animals behind. So, they decide to put on their own play! Everyone gets busy preparing for their roles, but when an actual dangerous enemy arrives on the scene, Duck must summon all her courage like Queen Esther did. Can she save the day?
Want more great book ideas? Sign up for our newsletter and get connected to our Reading Challenge!