The Purim Superhero by Elisabeth Kushner, illustrated by Mike Byrne and published by Kar-Ben Publishing. I think the story was inspired by a real Purim event that had been sponsored by an organisation called Keshet. Keshet support the inclusion of LGBT jews in Jewish life.
This is the story of Nate who is excitedly preparing for Purim with his friends and family. He really wants to dress up as an alien but his friend tells him he should be a superhero because all the other boys are being superheroes. He reluctantly decides that he’ll be a superhero like everyone else, so he can fit in. His Abba (Hebrew for Dad) can tell he isn’t happy and gives him some great advice about how important it is to be who you want to be, even if that makes you different from the others.
The book has bold and colourful illustrations, perfect for a big, bold festival like Purim. My bigger boy loves looking at all the children’s fancy dress costumes at the party. I really like the illustrations, especially the characters, they give the whole book a really happy feel.
This book is great for many reasons:
Firstly, the story puts across a great message about being confident in who you are whilst also showing acceptance of others who may be a little different.
Secondly, Nate and his sister Miri have two Dads. I have been looking for books like this since my bigger boy was small as I wanted better representation of different families and cultures in the books we read. My bigger boy hasn’t even commented on this family having two Dads, he is definitely far more interested in the superheroes! That’s just how I like to see diversity in books, it’s woven into the story but without being the main focus.
And, just to top it off, the rabbi is a woman. Just brilliant! (Rabbis are the ministers in Jewish synagogues. Traditionally, only men are rabbis but in progressive Judaism women can also be rabbis).
We’ve been busy with some Purim crafts this week too. In my last post I shared our hamantaschen pictures and explained that we make a lot of noise on Purim. One thing we use to make noise is called a grogger, a small instrument you can make noise with, so we set about making some.
I collected lots of different things so we could test which made the best sound. We had dry pasta, rice, sesame seeds, lentils, loom bands and some sequins. My bigger boy dutifully tested them all one by one by pouring them into empty plastic bottles. Then he decided that all of them mixed together was best! I have to agree it was a good choice as they looked colourful before we even started decorating them.
Here are the finished products… We left baby boy’s grogger undecorated as he is at a stage where he wants to eat everything. Bigger boy stuck all sorts on to his and declared it was a rocket ship grogger!
All ready to shake whenever we hear Haman’s name. Happy Purim, Chag Purim Sameach!
You can read more about the work of Keshet here: