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Purim Chicken

Albert Whitman
Ill. by Puy Pinillos

The Purim Chicken

(Hardcover ISBN 9780807533819)

A humorous picture book about a chicken who demonstrates her bravery in a close encounter with a fox, proving she can take on the role of Queen Esther in the barnyard Purim play.


Cuyler’s (Skeleton for Dinner) punny barnyard tale is well suited to the playfulness of Purim. Cluck the chicken is initially disappointed when she is passed over for the role of Queen Esther in the animals’ Purim play, and instead consigned to the audience. But Cluck’s efforts to develop an extra-loud cluck to shout at Haman during the play come in handy after the show’s star, Quack, is duck-napped by a fox. Pinillos’s (Look! Fish!) vibrant, painterly images amplify the off-kilter mood of the plot. Whether the dialogue elicits groans or giggles may depend on the family (“ ‘What bad moos,’ mooed Moo”), but it’s undeniably fun to read out loud. – Publishers Weekly

Cluck the chicken wants to play Queen Esther in the barnyard Purim play, but the role goes to Quack the duck. On the day before Purim, Quack is kidnapped by Fox. Cluck is “brave like Queen Esther,” rescues Quack, and gets the starring role in the show after all. . . . The illustrations are candy-bright, cheerful, and quirky. VERDICT A light and fluffy Purim tale for readers already familiar with the basics of the holiday. – School Library Journal

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