Kirkus Reviews QR Code
NACHSHON, WHO WAS AFRAID TO SWIM by Deborah Bodin Cohen

NACHSHON, WHO WAS AFRAID TO SWIM

A Passover Story

By Deborah Bodin Cohen (Author) , Jago (Illustrator)

Age Range: 6 - 9

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-8225-8764-4
Publisher: Kar-Ben

“Brave Nachshon,” afraid only of swimming, and his family have been slaves in Egypt for generations. Then Moses speaks of freedom, a dream Nachshon has had all his life. At the “Sea of Reeds,” which sits between the advancing Egyptians and escape, Nachshon is the first to step in, emboldened by the great man’s words of encouragement. It is when he is almost completely submerged that the sea parts and Moses leads his people across. This is a stirring tale of courage and faith, and it reads aloud well. An author’s note provides background for the tale, from brief references to Nachshon from the Torah to a more fully developed story from the Midrash. Jago’s stylized art supplies his characters with Egyptian profiles atop slender bodies; the predominant oranges, yellows and browns, then blues and greens, befit the desert and watery settings, respectively. Knowledgeable readers will miss a recounting of all the plagues visited on the Egyptians as well as the miracle of the waters washing over them. Still, a good addition to the holiday canon. (Picture book/religion. 6-9)