One of the more delightful recent picture books featuring a child with LGBT parents is Elisabeth Kushner’s The Purim Superhero, about a child with gay dads celebrating the Jewish holiday of Purim. I wrote about the book last year when it was first published — and am pleased to see that PJ Library, a project that sends free children’s books to Jewish families, is offering free copies of the book to subscribers who request it.
PJ Library, a program of the Harold Grinspoon Foundation, delivers free Jewish children’s books and music to families across North America raising Jewish children. One enrolls in their subscription service and gets a free book each month for children six months to eight years old. Normally, the book is chosen by PJ Library, but they have made The Purim Superhero available as an additional free book by request, as Foundation trustee Winnie Sandler Grinspoon explains:
“We know from comments we have received from PJ Library parents that there are those who would encourage us to send [The Purim Superhero] out to PJ Library families. We also know that there are those who would object to receiving it. Like it or not, parents in our community have differing opinions about same-sex marriage and how or when it is discussed with children.”
PJ Library welcomes and embraces the diversity of our community, whether in Jewish custom and practice or in the uniqueness of each family. And we know how wonderful it is for families and children to see themselves reflected in a book. What’s more, The Purim Superhero is a lovely book that captures the excitement of preparing for Purim and teaches important messages of the holiday. We think many families would love this book. Yet we know that there are some parents who would want to decide for themselves.
They therefore gave parents the choice of whether to receive the book — and the response was overwhelming. PJ Library ran out of copies and are making arrangements for additional ones to be printed. (PJ Library subscribers can visit the publisher and enter the promo code PJPURIM at checkout to later receive one free copy of the book through PJ Library.)
The PJ Library copy will not arrive in time for Purim, however, which begins the evening of March 15 this year. If you want a copy sooner, or if you aren’t and don’t want to be a member of PJ Library, you can find it at “a number of online book retailers, local bookstores, and Jewish book and gift stores.” (Amazon has it.) Even if you’re not Jewish, it’s a great way to broaden your kids’ cultural horizons and introduce them to a lesser-known, but very fun Jewish holiday. (Think Halloween crossed with Mardi Gras and you’ll be on the righttrack.)
The Purim Superhero had its birth in a story contest run by Keshet, the national Jewish LGBTQ organization. On the book’s one-year anniversary, author Elisabeth Kushner reflects at the Keshet blog on the warm welcome it has received. (Thanks also to Keshet for their Facebook post that alerted me to the PJ Library offer.) I hope it gains some new fans this Purim!