A Real-Life Purim Superhero: An Interview with Elisabeth Kushner

The world’s first LGBT inclusive Jewish children’s book in English has arrived!

Published by Kar-Ben Publishing, an award-winning publisher of Jewish children’s books, The Purim Superhero is the sweet story of a boy named Nate who has a Purim dilemma: he loves aliens and really wants to wear an alien costume for Purim, but his friends are all dressing as superheroes, and he wants to fit in. With the help of his two dads, he makes a surprising decision.

We had the chance to catch up with author Elisabeth Kushner, the winner of Keshet’s national book-writing contest.

Elisabeth will be reading from her brand new book on February 3 in Berkeley at one of our book release parties. If you’re interested in holding a book release party for The Purim Superhero in your area, Keshet can help! You’ll find a Do It Yourself Guide and other resources here. Plus, you can buy your copy of The Purim Superhero online from Keshet or Kar-Ben (e-versions too!) today!

The Purim Superhero parties are happening across the country (parties will be added to the Keshet website as they are scheduled):

2/2: Miami at Next@19th
2/3: San Francisco Bay Area at Afikomen Judaica
2/17: Denver at Mizel Museum
2/24: Boston at the Leventhal-Sidman JCC

Tell us about the process of writing the book, including the inspiration!

I wrote this book because of the Keshet contest. I’d been thinking for a long time about a Purim picture book, because I was a librarian at a Jewish day school. I wanted to integrate what kids were learning in their classrooms about holidays with what we were reading in the library. There are lots of Chanukah books, and some Passover ones, but I could find very few Purim books other than re-tellings of the Book of Esther, and the kids already knew that story! It’s as if all books about Christmas told the story of the Nativity. It’s the customs of Purim, which are really kid-friendly, that would make the good stuff of a story. It really drove me nuts every year that I had nothing to read these kids. So for years, I thought about this book I’d wanted to write, but it never got anywhere.