This biblical tale is filled with wonder, hope, and beauty.

MIRIAM AT THE RIVER

Miriam is pivotal in the story of Moses and the Exodus.

A 7-year-old girl narrates the details of the day that she heeds “God’s voice,” places her baby brother in a basket, sets him adrift in the Nile River to save him from “Pharoah’s men,” and then watches as Pharoah’s daughter rescues him. That baby boy will grow up to be Moses, and his sister is the prophet Miriam. In her author’s note, Yolen explains that she has taken this story from Exodus and from the Midrash, tales that interpret the Torah. Miriam’s story is interwoven with miracles associated with water, ranging from that basket on the Nile to the parting of the Red Sea and the life-giving water flowing from a rock that sustains the Jews wandering in the desert, but there are relatively few children’s books that place her at their center. Many celebrants of the Passover Seder sing a song honoring Miriam and will welcome a book that celebrates her childhood. It is Le’s illustrations that truly shine, however. The vibrant blues and oranges reflect both calm and swirling waters dotted with a multitude of plant life. Elegant storks wade in the water as hippos and crocodiles swim nearby.

This biblical tale is filled with wonder, hope, and beauty. (Picture book/religion. 4-7)

Pub Date: Feb. 4, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-5415-4400-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Kar-Ben

Review Posted Online: Dec. 8, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2020

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Children of Abrahamic faiths drawn to this book’s bright, eye-catching illustrations will find a message of inclusion within.

GOD'S BIG PLAN

Diversity is God’s gift to his creation.

In this new interpretation of the biblical story of the Tower of Babel, readers are told of the descendants of Noah and how they lived together in the city of Shinar. The people were all the same; they looked alike, lived the same way, and spoke one language. They wanted life to remain that way; however, God had a different plan. He wanted his people to be diverse, and so he gave them many different languages, ways of life, and places to live around the world. The story continues with readers seeing the great diversity God created: different races, religions, and lands. Yamasaki’s stunning illustrations are colorful and rich, showing diversity in everything from types of homes to a wide array of foods to multiple houses of worship. Readers are taken from the world and people of ancient Babylon to diverse, modern children eating around a table, giving child readers the opportunity to relate to and see themselves reflected in the story. This is a provocative vehicle for introducing ideas of diversity to young readers. Questions to discuss with young children are provided that will allow readers to reflect upon the ways people are both different and alike. Although members and symbols of nonmonotheistic faiths are represented in the illustrations, neither primary text nor backmatter acknowledges that many of Earth’s peoples do not recognize this book’s construction of God.

Children of Abrahamic faiths drawn to this book’s bright, eye-catching illustrations will find a message of inclusion within. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: April 23, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-947888-06-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Flyaway Books

Review Posted Online: Jan. 28, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2019

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