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MIRIAM IN THE DESERT by Jacqueline Jules


by Jacqueline Jules, illustrated by Natascia Ugliano

Age Range: 4 - 7

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2010
ISBN: 978-0-7613-4494-0
Publisher: Kar-Ben

Miriam, Moses’s sister, is featured in the fourth in Jules’s Bible series, offering encouragement and guidance to the Israelites as they continue their seemingly endless thirst- and hunger-filled journey through the desert following their escape from Egypt. Miriam’s belief in God’s miracles quells the groups’ negative complaints. “Miracles, miracles / Praise God’s might! / We see miracles / Day and night.” Sweet water and manna wondrously appear to satisfy each one before the travelers reach the mountain of Sinai to receive God’s Ten Commandments. Bezalel, the artist chosen by God to build the Holy Ark, is represented here as Miriam’s grandson (and the narrator of the tale), who plays a crucial role in developing a new spiritual future for the Jews. Deeply colored pastel-and-acrylic double-page paintings effectively portray a legendary biblical setting in a guileless and unsophisticated style; the deep ochres and blues of the desert landscape provide a warm backdrop that takes the edge off the misery of the Israelites. They effectively match the original and simple dialogue-driven text. (author’s note) (Picture book. 4-7)