Esther's Gragger: A Toyshop Tale of Purim


Young Esther has earned a special gragger (whirling noisemaker) by delivering charitable gifts on Purim, a Jewish holiday based on the story of Queen Esther. Now she is ready to carry her gragger in the festive Purim parade! Like the legendary Queen, Esther displays courage and wit when an older bully tries to steal her gragger.

The lively cast of characters quibble and carouse in a bygone world of warmth, surprise, and generosity. There is even a parade for children only. The appendix helps readers understand the history of Purim, how it is celebrated today, what a “gragger” is, and how to make a simple noisemaker.

Following the award-winning The Dreidel That Wouldn't Spin, author Martha Seif Simpson and illustrator D. Yael Bernhard have again created a new toyshop tale of playful language and images that hint at ancient roots and hidden meanings, which are just waiting for young readers to find. This is a tale ideal for reading aloud for fun, but also for learning.--from the publisher

40 pages           978-1937786755             Ages 4-8


Purim is coming and a toy peddler is selling his ware at a toy shop in the village. He has brought beautifully painted graggers (noisemakers) for the shopkeeper to see. In keeping with the Purim tradition graggers are used to make so much noise that they can drown out wickedness.

The shopkeeper chooses some special graggers from the peddler and places them on a shelf in his shop.  It's not long before a boy rushes into the shop in search of a very special gragger.  He chooses  one with the picture of Esther painted on it.  His sister, also an Esther, has been chosen to lead the Purim parade in the village and he wants to buy a very special gragger for her to carry with her.   As luck would have it though, he does not have enough money to pay for the gragger so he asks the shopkeeper to hold it for him promising to return by 11:00am.

Back matter explains what the graggers are and how to make graggers of your own.

A fun and informative story for those who are unfamiliar with this Purim tradition.  Bright illustrations add to the feeling of celebration and goodness here.

40 pages        978-1937786755             Ages 4-8

Keywords:  Purim, traditions, Judaism, Jewish, fun, siblings, heritage, religion

Recommended by:  Barb Langridge,


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