Queen Esther The Morning Star

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9780689813726: Queen Esther The Morning Star

Out of all the young women of Persia, Esther shines like a star. King Ahasuerus decides that she will be his new queen. Esther's cousin Mordecai warns her never to reveal that she is a Jew. "There are those at court who hate our people," he tells her. One day the king's prime minister, a schemer named Haman, orders Mordecai to bow down before him. Mordecai refuses, saying he will bow only to God. Furious, Haman convinces the king that all of the Jews in the kingdom should be destroyed. Mordecai realizes that Queen Esther will have to tell the king the truth and try to change his mind about the Jews. Will Esther and Mordecai be brave and clever enough to triumph over the evil Haman? With lively storytelling and intricate illustrations that recall ancient Persia, Mordicai Gerstein breathes new life into this dramatic tale about remaining true to oneself and to God. It Is sure to be enjoyed on Purim and all year round.

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About the Author:

Mordicai Gerstein has been delighting readers for years with his stories and illustrations. He has published numerous acclaimed picture books, including The Mountains of Tibet, The Shadow of a Flying Bird, and most recently, The Wild Boy, which was named a New York Times Best Illustrated Book. He has published two bible story retellings with Simon & Schuster: Noah and the Great Flood, and Jonah and the Two Great Fish. Of Noah, Booklist said, "Gerstein's is a radiant version of the familiar tale." School Library Journal called Jonah "a lively and colorful read aloud...[with] enthralling oil paintings that sparkle with humor, imagination, and absorbing details" in a starred review. This story and the Jewish holiday Purim have always had special meaning for Mr. Gerstein because they celebrate Mordecai, his namesake. He lives in western Massachusetts.

From School Library Journal:

Grade 2-5-Gerstein has retold and illustrated the Biblical story of the Jewish girl who became Queen of Persia and saved her people from genocide at the hands of an evil prime minister. He has followed the Old Testament tale closely, adding only a dream of two battling dragons and the morning star that awakens Mordecai to the fact that his cousin Esther must approach the king and beg him to save her people. Detailed, gouache cartoon illustrations in a palette of muted pastel colors are filled with pattern, effecting a strong Persian flavor. Most pages are bordered in a parchment yellow that's reminiscent of the Hebrew Book of Esther (the megillah), which is printed on a parchment roll and read in synagogues on the eve of Purim. While the king is shown as a jolly, round fellow, hawk-nosed, white-faced, pointy-bearded Haman is a grotesque, Punchlike character whose raven-haired wife resembles a witch. His traditional tricornered hat, which dictates the shape of the hamantaschen pastries served on the holiday, appears here as a tall miter. An author's note offers some facts about the characters and the celebration. This appealing retelling is appropriate for both public library and Judaic collections.
Susan Scheps, Shaker Heights Public Library, OH
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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