The Purim Superhero is a children’s book about conviction, courage, space aliens, and a Jewish family with two dads.
Published by Kar-Ben Publishing, an award-winning publisher of Jewish children’s books, the manuscript is the winner of a writing contest sponsored by Keshet.
The Purim Superhero is the first LGBT-inclusive Jewish children’s book in English.
For ages 4-9, Grades: Pre K-3, 32 pages
About the Author and Illustrator
Elisabeth Kushner lives in Vancouver, Canada, with her family and a jumble of books and musical instruments. She spent nine years as the librarian at the Jewish Day School of Metropolitan Seattle so she knows a thing or two about children’s books! If she were a superhero, she’d be Orange Ukulele Girl. Her favorite kind of hamentaschen is poppyseed. This is her first children’s book.
“When I heard about the Keshet contest, it seemed like a perfect fit: in the Purim story, Esther “comes out” as Jewish in a way that can be a model not just for Jews, or for GLBT people, but for everyone who feels different. I hope that The Purim Superhero will help inspire and reassure kids like Nate who don’t necessarily want to be like everyone else– and most importantly, I hope kids will enjoy reading and hearing the story.”
Mike Byrne grew up near Liverpool in the United Kingdom, moving to London to work as an illustrator by day and a crayon wielding crime fighter by night. He lives in the English countryside with his wife and two cats, where he spends his days doodling and creating children’s books.
In The Purim Superhero, Nate loves everything about aliens. He loves to draw aliens, he loves to read about aliens, and loves to think about aliens. So when it comes time to choose a costume for Purim, Nate naturally knew what he was going to be, that is until his friends at Hebrew school told him that all the boys would be dressing up as superheroes.
Worried about being different from his classmates, Nate seeks advice from his two dads, who suggest that being different can sometimes be a good thing. The reader might expect Nate’s dads to use their own family as an example. Instead, they point Nate to the lesson of Purim which celebrates Queen Esther, a girl whose courage to be true to herself ends up saving her people.
Young readers may be surprised what Nate learns from this lesson and what costume he finally chooses.
This project was made possible by the generous support of:
Jane Fantel and Laura Galinson
John and Beth Gamel
Harold Grinspoon and Diane Troderman
Jeff Grinspoon and Jon Foley