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The Moses Basket Hardcover – August 1, 2003
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From School Library Journal
Grade 3-5-When Moses's mother learns of the Pharaoh's command that all male Hebrew babies be thrown in the river, she makes a papyrus cradle in which to lay her infant son. She and her daughter Miriam place him on the water, and Miriam assures her that when the princess walks by, she will save the child. Staying true to the Old Testament tale, Koralek keeps a reverential tone and tells the story using accessible though not oversimplified language. The beautifully rendered artwork is well placed and successfully evokes a strong sense of place and time.
Leslie Barban, Richland County Public Library, Columbia, SC
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
K-Gr. 1. Koralek focuses here on a small piece of the familiar Old Testament story about baby Moses in the bulrushes. The largely straightforward retelling, enlivened by quotes, begins with the cruel pharaoh's decree that "every baby boy born to a Hebrew slave was to be thrown into the river." The pictures tell the story with equal clarity: the slaves at work, the pharaoh's whips, the discovery of the baby in the basket, Miriam's bold plan, and the joyous family reunion. Baynes' gently textured illustrations have the feel of ancient Egyptian art in the geometrically patterned borders surrounding the pictures, the flattened shapes of the characters, clothing details, and stark backgrounds. The earth-tone colors are enlivened and softened with shades of turquoise and daubs of bright orange and gold. This unpretentious, accessible segment of a familiar story will work well on its own, as a preamble to the longer story, or, for older children, as a springboard for a simple discussion of slavery then and now. Stephanie Zvirin
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
Top customer reviews
The Pharaoh declared that all Hebrew babies be put to death. To save Moses' life, his mother, with the help of her daughter Mariam, hide him in a basket and float him down the river. They time it so the Pharaoh's daughter will find the basket when she comes to the river to bathe. When she sees baby Moses sleeping in the basket, she realizes he is the child of a Hebrew slave, but she doesn't take the baby to her father so he can be slain. Instead, as the story goes, she ends up paying Moses' mother to feed him and care for him for a few years before he goes to live in the Pharaoh's palace!
The story references the Scriptures, citing passages from the book of Exodus at the beginning of the book.
The illustrations are what you would expect for a story set in Egypt during Biblical times. They are what I would call classical illustrations for a story of this nature, done in muted tones with the well-known Egyptian persona and motifs throughout.
What I Like: The story is told with a lot of conversation between the characters. It brings the story to life; I like that.
What I Dislike: Nothing.
Overall Rating: Very good.
Age Appeal: The publisher suggests an age level of baby-preschool. I don't think this book is suitable for babies. Preschoolers would probably enjoy it, as would children in the elementary grades, so I would say the age range is from 3-8.
Christine M. Irvin - Christian Children's Book Review
I love that Miriam's role is highlighted, and that Pharoah's daughter is portrayed as being well aware that she was handing the child over to his original mother to be nursed and raised until he was weaned, because she almost certainly was aware of this.
It's such a lovely story in every way.