Problems in Purimville: A Purim Story

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image002Title: Problems in Purimville: A Purim Story
Author: Karen Fisman
Illustrator: Wendy Faust
Category: Juvenile Fiction, Ages 4-8
ISBN: 978-0-9812650-1-8
Format: 5.5X8.5 inches, hardcover
Pages: 64 pages/colour throughout
Price: $14.99 CDN/$13.50 US

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“This charming story combines elements of mystery, fantasy, and adventure into a chapter book that will keep kids engrossed, and would be a great choice for reading aloud before Purim.”  Association of Jewish Libraries Reviews

“Fisman tells a story with sparkling imagination…Together with brightly coloured illustrations by Wendy Faust, she creates a fanciful tale that entertains with child-appropriate episodes of danger and drama even as it teaches values of goodness, persistence and courage.”  The Canadian Jewish News, March 10, 2011

Problems in Purimville…A Sneak Preview

One snowy, grey morning in February, Jacob woke with a jolt.  He’d been dreaming of the adventure he’d had last Hanukkah with a girl named Sarah.  In his dream, he and Sarah were leading an army of brave fighters against a horde of evil goblins. But all of a sudden, the brave fighters had turned into hamantashen – triangle shaped Purim cookies.  Then the hamantashen grew arms and legs and began to sing and dance!  That was when Jacob woke up.

He supposed that with Purim just a day away, it was no surprise he was dreaming about hamantashen, even singing, dancing ones.  Jacob couldn’t wait until the holiday, when he and his friends would all dress up in fantastic costumes and parade to synagogue to hear the Purim story.  The story told of how long ago, in the faraway land of Persia, brave Queen Esther and her Uncle Mordecai saved the Jewish people from a nasty villain named Haman.   Whenever Haman’s name was spoken, everyone would spin noisy rattles called graggers to drown out the evil sound. It was pretty deafening, but really fun!

Jacob planned to dress up as a king this year.  He thought about his costume and suddenly felt like trying it on again.  He took the costume bag from his closet and opened it, but as he shook out its contents, he frowned. This was all wrong. The bag should have contained a jewel studded crown, a blue velvet cloak and a very cool sword and shield (which his mom said he wasn’t allowed to bring to synagogue).  But instead, out of the bag came a pink tutu, a pair of purple and green flippers, and disguise glasses – the kind with a large plastic nose and mustache.  What was going on here?

Purimville ch 1Jacob left the muddled up costume on his bed and went downstairs to the kitchen.  He thought maybe his mom or dad was playing a trick on him.  The kitchen was empty, but there was a note from his mom on the counter.

“Jacob, I’ll be back soon. If you need anything, ask dad – he’s still upstairs.  There are some hamantashen for you on the kitchen counter.  Since Purim is coming soon, you can have them for breakfast, for a treat.  They’re your favourite – poppy seed.”

“Awesome,” thought Jacob, as he spied the cookies that were shaped like the wicked Haman’s triangular hat.  He forgot for the moment about his costume problem and helped himself to a hamantash.  It looked delicious – slightly golden cookie dough on the outside folded around a dark, gooey centre.  He took a large bite and…Blech! Ptooey! He spat it out.  The hamantash tasted bitter and spicy at the same time – like it was filled with brussels sprouts and sprinkled with hot chili sauce. He tossed the leftover on the counter and dashed to the fridge for some orange juice to take the awful taste away.  Something was very wrong, he thought to himself as he poured.  First the mixed-up costume, and now the mixed-up hamantash.  What was going to happen next?

As Jacob gulped down his last bit of juice, the doorbell rang.  He hurried to the door and peered through the glass. There, on the front step, was his friend Sarah.  In the months since their Hanukkah adventure, Sarah had been living just around the corner with her Uncle Solomon.  She’d often drop by for a visit, but today, something seemed different.  Sarah looked like she was about to burst with excitement.  Jacob opened the door, and she dashed into the house.  “I have something really crazy to show you,” Sarah said breathlessly.  “You’re not going to believe your eyes.”

purimville vignette 1

Are you curious?  What’s going on?  Join Jacob and Sarah as they solve this mystery in their next adventure, “Problems in Purimville”.