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Nachshon, Who Was Afraid to Swim: A Passover Story by [Cohen, Deborah Bodin]
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4.8 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

According to rabbinic lore, Nachshon was the first Israelite to enter the sea when Pharaoh's army pursued the fleeing slaves. Cohen (The Seventh Day) and Jago (Fig's Giant) offer a backstory to this legend, portraying Nachshon as a boy brave enough to defy his taskmasters yet unable to overcome his fear of water. Inspired by Moses (Real freedom means believing in yourself), Nachshon discovers that redemption means being free from slavery and free from his fears. Although the themes of self-actualization land rather heavily (Moses sounds like a disciple of Oprah), Cohen succeeds in transporting the Exodus story to a personal scale without robbing it of significance. Jago's highly stylized digital pictures are handsome and heartfelt: his gold-hued palette and mural-like compositions convey the heat and oppressiveness of Egypt, while his elaborately textured (and seemingly handmade) surfaces make the pages feel burnished by the forces of history and faith. Ages 3–8. (Feb.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From School Library Journal

Grade 1–4—Not much has been written about the biblical figure believed to be the first to step into the Sea of Reeds during the Israelite's exodus from Egypt. However, Cohen has successfully fictionalized the scant biblical account and embellished the midrash to create a child-friendly picture book about overcoming fear, trusting in God, and believing in oneself. As a boy, Nachshon earned his reputation for bravery by smuggling cool drinking water to his father and brothers in the quarries, spying on Pharaoh's royal courtiers, and venturing out into the darkness of the ninth plague to check on his neighbors. But despite these courageous acts, he was terrified of the water and refused to venture into the Nile. Yet when the Israelites finally fled and stood on the banks of the Sea of Reeds, it was Nachshon who led the way. Remembering what Moses had taught—"Real freedom means facing your fears and overcoming them"—he stepped into the water and the level reached his lips before the sea miraculously parted, allowing the Israelites to escape from the advancing Egyptian army. The digitally prepared, mixed-media illustrations utilize muted yellow, orange, and brown tones to depict the sweltering heat of the desert and bright blue and green tones to illustrate the celebration of freedom. They complement and enhance the text marvelously. A wonderful, unique addition.—Rachel Kamin, North Suburban Synagogue Beth El, Highland Park, IL
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Product details

  • File Size: 7458 KB
  • Print Length: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Kar-Ben (January 1, 2014)
  • Publication Date: January 1, 2014
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00I1E3PTU
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #712,611 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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