BOOK: MIRIAM AT THE RIVER
AUTHOR: JANE YOLEN
ILLUSTRATOR: KHOA LE
PUBLISHER: KAR-BEN PUBLISHING
AGE RECOMMENDED: 3+
I admire a lot of the women characters in the Bible. One among them is Miriam. Miriam was a very important woman in the life of Moses. She was the sister of the greatest leader Moses. Moses led the people from Egypt to Canan.
This story takes us back to when Moses was born. The Israelites were slaves in Egypt. The Israelites have to obey every good and bad law of Pharoh. One such law was, to kill all the boy babies born to all the Israelites. Moses’s mother saw the baby as special and decided to protect him. So she asks for the help of Miriam to safeguard the baby when she leaves him in a basket in the river Nile.
This is the Biblical story of Moses’ sister Miriam, where the author writes from the perspective of Miriam. With one quick push, she sends Moses into the water, hoping her wish will come true and her brother will be saved from Pharaoh’s orders. Miriam’s mother weaved a papyrus basket for him and coated it with tar and with pitch. So this makes the basket float, and it’s travelling amid hungry yellow-billed storks, Ibis, hippopotamus, crocodiles and fish. Suddenly the Nile’s water ripples and parts on either side.
Miriam was confused and she quickly uttered a prayer. She quickly receives an answer, “your little brother is in my care until he comes home” She thinks about the answer and wonders where will be his home. Then suddenly a miracle happens! A young lady clothed in jewels came and spotted the baby. There lies a relief for Miriam.
Immediately the baby was named MOSES “for he was drawn from the water”
The illustrations are so beautiful and the lyrical telling on each page is the best part of the book. A great book for kids where they can imagine how wide the river was. How the seven-year-old girl braved the water and helped her brother reach a safer place. A story about being brave, even when the situation is not good around us is what we can learn from this incident.
My favourite quote from the book was; Sometimes courage comes from what you do. Sometimes from what you do not do.
Questions you can ask your child after reading this book;
- * Miriam has to be brave. When have you had to be brave?
- * Where is home? Miriam wonders at one point in the book. The question was never answered. What do you think the answer is?
- * Courage comes from what you do and what you do not do. Can you think of a time it took courage for you not to do something?
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