Review: Duct Tape Purim

Duct Tape Purim

by Carolyn Bernhardt & Jill Collela Bloomfield

Kar-Ben Publishing (imprint of Lerner Publishing Group), 2023

Category: Middle Grade
Reviewer: Sandy Wasserman

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The title of this book expresses exactly what it offers. It's a lovely craft book perfectly suited for Jewish children in grades 2-3, especially children who are excited about creating Purim costumes of their own with a bit of help from their parents. Though some of the text is a bit above the readability level for those grades, the colorful and attractive illustrations perfectly suit the skills of children eager to create costumes in unusual ways - using duct tape! Most families have that standard silver roll, and the authors add additional colorful tape options in addition to directions for every possible costume, from crowns to rings and bracelets, hats and shields, horses and robes, bows and carry totes. Woven throughout the directions for each costume is the Purim story and all the characters. So as the child measures, cuts cardboard and tape and creates, he or she comes away with the story of Purim. So much of this simple old fashioned home-made dress-up for the holiday has been missing for children for years and this book lends a fresh look to 'home-made' without sewing. Any child following the directions will be all dressed for the Megillah reading or a Purim shpiel.

Purim is well described here: the names of the characters in the story as well as the language of the holiday! Young children will enjoy the thrill of making their own costumes with a little help from their parents using only a few simple products found at home.
Illustration Editor Dena Bach adds:  A great hands-on way to learn the Purim story! Though the photo illustrations do a good job of showing the process of making these costumes, an accompanying video or a few more photos would be great to fill in the gaps that the targeted age children might need to follow, with the help of an adult, in order to create some these colorful holiday costumes.
Ed. Note: This title was included on the Association of Jewish Libraries Spring 2023 Holiday Highlights list. 

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Reviewer Sandy Wasserman is a retired teacher of Gifted and Talented students, and taught for 35 years in both public schools and at a Solomon Schechter Day School. She's a wife, mother of two adult daughters, and grandmother to two fantastic 'first readers' of her manuscripts. Her published book, The Sun's Special Blessing [2009], was her first serendipitous and fun experience in the publishing world. She loves to read and swim, though not at the same time.