Miriam at the River
Miriam at the River

Series: Bible   

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Annotation: Presents the biblical story of baby Moses as told by his big sister, Miriam, as she watches over him and hopes that her wish will come true and her brother will be saved from Pharoah's death sentence.
Catalog Number: #293887
Format: Perma-Bound Edition from Publisher's Hardcover
All Formats: Search
Publisher: Kar-Ben
Copyright Date: 2020
Edition Date: 2020
Pages: 32
Availability: Out of Print
ISBN: Publisher: 1-541-54400-5 Perma-Bound: 0-7804-9873-9
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-1-541-54400-0 Perma-Bound: 978-0-7804-9873-0
Dewey: E
Language: English
ALA Booklist
Miriam at the River is a quietly beautiful, poetic expansion of a brief but well-known Bible story. The story, told in the first person, takes the point of view of Miriam, Moses' older sister, as she places her baby brother into a basket in the Nile and watches him float until Pharaoh's daughter finds him. Yolen's free-verse text describes the setting and Miriam's emotions in detail. It also suggests that Miriam has the gift of prophecy, foreshadowing the splitting of the Red Sea and other famous events in the Exodus from Egypt. The arresting illustrations match the poetic tone of the book, making fantastic use of swirling reds and blues. Like the words, they bring the setting to life, focusing especially on the plants, animals, and river water surrounding Miriam and Moses. The artist's personal style blends well with nods to ancient Egypt. This book may appeal to thoughtful children, fans of poetry, and educators looking for examples of modern midrash, or stories that imaginatively fill the gaps in Bible stories.
Kirkus Reviews
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)
Publishers Weekly
Many families have added a -Miriam-s cup- to their seder table in recognition of the important role played by the sister of Moses. With luxuriant visuals and rhythmic, emotionally intense language, Le and Yolen recount the siblings- backstory. Before sunrise, hidden by -sedge, bulrush, papyrus, reeds- (the papyrus are especially beautiful, imagined here as blue fans striped in red and gold), seven-year-old Miriam stealthily but resolutely slips the handwoven basket containing Moses onto the sparkling, sumptuously swirling turquoise waters of the Nile; storks, ibis, and a curious hippo watch as he floats away and into the arms of Pharaoh-s beautiful daughter, whose billowing robes and hair mirror the movements of the water and reeds. Yolen puts readers inside Miriam-s mind as the girl carries out her mission and realizes she is part of a bigger destiny. Pharaoh-s daughter will mother the child, -who will capture her heart, / until another water parts,- and -some day, all the world/ will know my brother-s name.- Ages 5-9. (Feb.)

School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 3 Miriam takes readers with her as she heads to the Nile at night to set her infant brother adrift in a woven basket. Then she hides to watch as the basket floats past wading birds and a curious hippo until a beautiful young woman commands her handmaidens to rescue the boy. Miriam hurries away to tell her parents that the baby has a name (Moses) and a home. Miriam's trust in God calms her fears, even as she envisions a massive parting of water that she cannot interpret. This glimpse into the future references her role as prophet and leader as recounted in Exodus and Midrash tales. Yolen provides details about Miriam and Moses in notes at the book's end, but it is her own poetic language that brings Miriam's story to life. Le's evocative illustrations shimmer on the page with intense colors and patterns, chronicling Moses's watery journey and Miriam's careful observations. Since neither Yolen's picture book text nor end notes explain Pharaoh's decree, readers unaware of the original story may wonder why the baby had to be hidden in the first place. VERDICT This engaging retelling of the early life of Miriam and Moses will be of particular interest to those familiar with the biblical story, while other readers will appreciate the courage of the young heroine. Kathy Piehl, Minnesota State University Library, Mankato
Reviewing Agencies: - Find Other Reviewed Titles
ALA Booklist (9/1/20)
Kirkus Reviews (2/1/20)
Publishers Weekly (2/1/20)
School Library Journal (2/1/20)
Word Count: 772
Reading Level: 4.5
Interest Level: K-3
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 4.5 / points: 0.5 / quiz: 508745 / grade: Lower Grades
Lexile: 670L
Guided Reading Level: S
Fountas & Pinnell: S

The biblical story of baby Moses as told by his big sister. Giving her baby brother a kiss, brave little Miriam places Moses's basket into the river. With one quick push, she sends him into the water, hoping her wish will come true and her brother will be saved from Pharaoh's orders. But will Pharaoh's daughter arrive in time to rescue him?

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