This version of the Passover story is designed for Jewish families and aspiring zoologists.
The Red Sea is filled with snakes. When Moses parts the waters, long, striped serpents splash out of the sea, along with fish of every color: tiny purple ones and enormous red ones and a handful that are bright green. There are animals on almost every page of this book. Children who aren’t familiar with the story of Exodus might confuse the book for a bestiary as they flip through. The gigantic black cat of Egypt may even give them pause. When the plague of wild beasts shows up about halfway through the story, it’s marvelous to watch. There are turtles and monkeys and butterflies and animals that are nearly impossible to identify. Readers might even be forgiven for skipping past the text and just pointing to their favorite creatures from the zoo. That text is a straightforward retelling of the Passover story, and it’s entirely serviceable. If families need an introduction to Moses and Pharaoh, this book will certainly meet their needs, but Adler’s version doesn’t add much color or personality to the human characters, in contrast to Weber’s energetic paintings of the animals.
This book will help families get ready for Passover, but they may need to take a trip to the zoo a day or two later. (Picture book. 4-8)