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Purim Holiday Story and Picture Book for Fun Reading and Learning About This Important Jewish Celebration

Cindy Hewitt is a retired teacher with a passion for children's literature. Read-aloud stories add quality to a child's life experiences.

Adventures in Learning About the Celebration of Purim in the Jewish Faith


Learn About the Celebration of the Jewish Holiday Purim With These Purim Detectives

Alan Silberberg's Meet the Hamantaschen-a Purim Mystery is a fun read for children to learn about the Jewish celebration of Purim. The Purim detectives set out to discover the meaning of the holiday, the customs for celebrating, and the history behind the holiday. There is a huge problem looming when the fact that the important scroll called the megillah is missing! These detectives are also not real detectives! They are pastries for the celebration of Purim! They have to prove that they CAN be detectives. If the megillah cannot be found with the story of Purim, then there can be no celebration. The story must be read aloud in order for Purim to be celebrated. A large file of facts is found with information about all of the historical characters from the beginning of Purim in the Jewish faith. The detectives create disguises in order to interrogate the possible suspects that may know where the scroll is. Queen Esther, Vashti, Haman, and a few others are all to be questioned. The interrogation begins and young readers will learn the history of Purim through the interrogation. Enough true facts about the history of Purim are gathered from the suspects and the Purim play can go on. A surprise ending produces the scroll. You will not believe who had the scroll!

Meet the Hamantashchen-A Purim Mystery is filled with interesting facts about this important celebration on the Jewish calendar. The book of Esther from the Old Testament is read every year to begin the celebration. A favorite part of the celebration are the yummy pastries called Hamantashen, filled with poppy seeds and jelly. Silberberg includes a glossary of vocabulary words that name foods that are served for this celebration. The illustrations are cartoon-like and fill the pages with color and the adventures of the detectives (actually the pastries) as they search for the missing scroll.

Meet the Hamantaschen-A Purim Mystery was published by Viking, a division of Penguin/Random House and is recommended for ages 6-10. It has an ISBN of 978-0-593-351574.

Colorful Cartoon-Like Illustrations Help Tell the Story of Purim

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A Brief History of Purim on the Jewish Calendar

Purim begins this year on Wednesday night March 16 and ends on March 17. This holiday is important in the Jewish faith because it commemorates the saving of the Jewish people from Haman. Haman was a Persian empire official who planned to kill all of the Jews in the empire at that time in history. The history can be found in the Old Testament book of Esther. The story is read each year to begin the celebration.

Bring The Hamantaschen-a Purim Mystery Into the Classroom

Teachers who like to introduce multicultural holidays to their young students will want to add this fun story and picture book to their classroom. I always liked to include a variety of multicultural holidays in my early childhood and elementary classrooms. The inclusion of the pastries and other foods from the glossary that is included in the book makes this story a fun addition to the classroom curriculum. Many children will have friends who are Jewish.

*Read Meet the Hamantaschen-A Purim Mystery in a story time session. Call attention to the shape of the pastries and the filling.

*Introduce the characters that are part of the Purim story.

*Introduce the Jewish vocabulary word "megillah" as the word for scroll. Prepare an example of a scroll with a rolled paper containing words and pictures.

*Have a globe available for students to locate the area where the Persian Empire was located.

*The blintz and the latke are also part of the celebration of Purim. Invite a member of the Jewish faith from your community to bring blintzes to the classroom for students to enjoy. These can also be prepared with a classroom-friendly recipe.

*Latkes are easily prepared in the classroom. The recipe for latkes is classroom- friendly and easily prepared in an electric skillet. Serve the latkes with applesauce.

*The recipe for the hamantaschen pastries is also classroom- friendly.

© 2022 Cindy Hewitt

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