Mighty Micah

Apples & Honey. Feb. 2024. 32p. Tr $18.95. ISBN 9781681156293.
PreS-Gr 1–This Purim tale focuses on empowerment but never quite comes together. Micah has a Purim noisemaker called a gragger that makes him feel powerful and able to stand up to people. He drops it outside after the Purim party. That night, first a raccoon, then a fish, then a heron grab it as possible food, but its noise frightens them into dropping it. Micah finds the noisemaker and takes it to school where his teacher tells the story of Purim, and Micah realizes that the empowerment the gragger gave him is really inside himself. The text is not overly long, and the repeated phrases as each animal finds the gragger are engaging. However, the story doesn’t quite hang together. The center section with the animals feels unnecessary, and the empowerment feels contrived. Illustrations, likely done digitally, are a nice mix of double and single-page full-bleed spreads, as well as pages of spot art that move the story effectively. Characters have large, expressive eyes, and the animals’ eyes have a cartoony feel. Micah’s class has some diversity, and their Purim costumes are appealingly colorful. Why Micah is using his gragger for show-and-tell, when all of the same children were at the party the night before, seems unclear. There is a brief mention of the teacher telling the Purim story, which the back matter covers more completely.
VERDICT While the art is attractive, the story never quite gels. Most libraries can pass.

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