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Cakes and Miracles: A Purim Tale
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Cakes and Miracles: A Purim Tale

3.87  ·  Rating details ·  75 ratings  ·  19 reviews
As Purim approaches, blind Hershel wishes he could help his mother prepare for the holiday. "If only I could see," he says. Then one night in his dreams, Hershel has a vision of a winged angel descending a sparkling ladder. What the angel tells him--and what Hershel sees in his dreams--leads to an exciting surprise for the whole village.
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published January 1st 1991 by Viking Kestrel
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3.87  · 
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 ·  75 ratings  ·  19 reviews

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Young Hershel is blind, but he still wants to help with Purim. Hershel's mother doesn't have much faith in her son's ability to make the special cookies and cakes of the holiday. After an inspiring dream, Hershel believes he can see what the treats will be, yet his mother still doubts him. Yes, her disbelief in her son is disappointing. So, when Hershel sneaks down to the kitchen at night and bakes his heart out to produce the loveliest cookies, his triumph is delightful.

Overall, Cakes and Mira
Dec 02, 2013 rated it really liked it
I am always a fan of children's books that take an alternative slant on a holiday, while still offering an important ethical/hallachic message that one can discuss with young children. With "Cakes and Miracles" Barbara Diamond Goldin has produced just such a book for Purim. Instead of another take on the classic story of Ester (which is the story of the Purim holiday), Goldin's book offers a tale which evokes old Hasidic tropes of a child's purity of faith and the potential that can be found wit ...more
Kimberly Schultz
Dec 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
Hershel can do all the things that the other children in his village do, such as go to school or play down by the river. But when he wants to help his mom bake cakes for the traditional Jewish holiday Purim, his mom does not let him because he is blind. After an angel appears in his dream to remind Hershel that he can see in his dreams, Hershel realizes that he can make the cakes, but when he tells his mom she still says no. However, Hershel does not give up and the next night after his mom is a ...more
Margaret Klein
Feb 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
A children's book for Purim about a young boy who is blind who helps his mother. She doesn't think he could bake the traditional hamantaschen, filled cakes to look like Haman's hat, because he wouldn't be able to see the dough and make it triangle shapes. This book teaches much about sight and vision. And tzedakah. And righteousness. You'll have to read the book to discover the miracles. A great book for young students--and their teachers and parents. A PJ Library book.
Melvin Marsh, M.S.
A cute Purim tale about a young blind boy who helps his mother by making special cakes for Purim.
Mary Ann
Feb 14, 2011 rated it it was amazing
If life puts difficult obstacles in your way, can you still follow your dreams? On one hand, this might seem like an overplayed message, but Barbara Diamond Goldin's picture book Cakes and Miracles does a lovely job of showing a young boy overcoming his blindness to help his mother the way he wants to. It's a sweet, inspiring tale - wonderful to share during the Jewish holiday of Purim, or at any time.

Young Hershel was blind, but "his blindness did not keep him from going to school, or shaking p
Hershel is blind due to an illness and is unable to help his widowed mother make hamantashen for Purim. The mother depends on money from baking for their survival. Hershel is experienced in playing in the mud and making shapes and one night an angel comes to him and tells him though he may not have sight, he can still imagine what hamantashen looks like. Hershel surpasses his mother by making hamantashen cookies in different shapes on Purim day. She bakes them and sell them at the market. They a ...more
Lesley Looper
This story does a nice job, I think, of weaving the story and holiday of Purim with the plight of a young blind Jewish boy and his single mom. My impression of the mom is that she's kinda stressed by the day-to-day life of raising a blind child on her own, but the boy seems to be pretty happy and self-sufficient, able to help around the house and find his way down to the river to play in the mud. His muddy experiences end up coming in handy when he is able to help his mom do the baking for Purim ...more
Oct 14, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Hershel is a blind boy whose only way to help his mother is to carry water and wood. In a dream he understands that he can make what he can see in his imagination. When he wakes he makes beautiful original cakes and cookies to help celebrate Purim, the Jewish holiday which celebrates Queen Esther's saving her people in ancient Persia. This book includes an explanation of Purim and even a recipe for Hamantashen, the traditional three cornered pastry filled with poppy seeds or fruit.
Christie Lee
This is a great story about a little blind boy who wants to help his mother make the cakes they will sell in the market. The mother supports them since the father has died, and works really hard. The little boy Hershel dreams one night that he can help make the cakes, in his case he makes cookies. He does and it shows him and his mother that even though he is blind, he has skills and worth, something to offer.
Whole And
An absolutely gorgeous and meaningful tale of a young boy without eyesight, using his inner sight to create when no one else thought he could. An incredibly story to encourage young minds to use their imagination, their inner wisdom and belief in themselves to create in their lives. Although the story takes place during Purim, the message goes beyond any religious upbringing.

A very worthy and memorable read promising rich discussions to follow.
Nancy Jo Lambert
Aug 07, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: holidays
This was a very good, and very interesting book. I think that young children will be fascinated that Hershel is blind. I like that there is a brief description of the Purim holiday and the biblical story behind it. This is a great book for teachers looking to educate students on different holidays and cultures.
Aya Chadwick
When a disabled person is the main character I think it needs to be proved by the disabled person. In this case a blind person. Can blind person really see in their head? Is this really a story of hope?
Feb 14, 2011 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Jewish Families
Recommended to Lynn by: PJ Library
It was an enjoyable book to read to my 5 yr. old son that was very different from typical Purim tales. My son said it was "okay" because he had a hard time understanding how the boy in the book could "see".
4 stars as a book for me. 3 stars as a book to read to my daughter, who is new to the US and learning English. Much of the story was over her head, both because of the word choice and subject matter, but she enjoyed looking at the pictures.
Dec 06, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Kids story for Purim

A toughing story of a boy that became blind from a illnesses. His father is deceased. His mother makes money by baking and selling it at the village market. One night Herschel has a dream from. The illustrations are wonderful.
Hester Rathbone
Mar 01, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: home
A sweet story about pushing the limits of what you think you can and can't do, along with how everyone can contribute *something* to life and society.
The Styling Librarian
Enjoyed the extra messages mixed in this beautiful book... Don't underestimate skills and celebrate the holiday!
Wendy Hudson
Mar 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: for-braydon
A great short book for our study today on the holiday, Purim. The message is a wonderful one as well as the discussion of Purim and the traditions that follow.
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