Moses: The Long Road to Freedom

Overview

This beautiful, elegant retelling of the story of Moses includes brillant illustrations by the award-winning illustrator Gennady Spirin and moving prose by acclaimed author Ann Beneduce.

When Moses encounters the voice of God, he learns that only he has the power to fight the Pharaoh of Egypt and free the Hebrew slaves. With the help of his brother Aaron, he begs the Pharaoh to free the slaves, but he refuses many times. When God kills the ...

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Overview

This beautiful, elegant retelling of the story of Moses includes brillant illustrations by the award-winning illustrator Gennady Spirin and moving prose by acclaimed author Ann Beneduce.

When Moses encounters the voice of God, he learns that only he has the power to fight the Pharaoh of Egypt and free the Hebrew slaves. With the help of his brother Aaron, he begs the Pharaoh to free the slaves, but he refuses many times. When God kills the Pharaoh's son and many of his people, he finally surrenders.
As Moses and the slaves approach the Red Sea, they learn that the Pharoah has changed his mind and has sent his men to bring them back. But with the help of God, Moses is able to free them once and for all.

Recounts the story of the Jewish leader Moses, from his birth until his leading of the slaves out of Egypt. Based on the Torah, Modern Commentary and the King James Bible.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Booklist
(April 1, 2004; 0-439-35225-8)

Gr. 2-4, younger for reading aloud. The story of Moses gets a handsome treatment from Beneduce and her sometime artistic partner, Spirin. The tale is a familiar one, with most of the action coming as Moses brings his demands for freedom to the pharaoh. The text bogs down a bit as it tries to find ways to make the monarch's denials seem fresh, but the story's inherent drama gets its just due here, and is heightened by Spirin's awe-inspiring pencil-and-watercolor artwork. Although not gilded, many of the pictures have the look and feel of illumination. Moses is beautifully portrayed, strong even when his hair is white. There are also some amazing pictures that will demand second and third looks, especially the full-page painting of Aaron's snake devouring the snakes of the pharaoh. A few liberties have been taken with the story (e.g., the explanation of why Moses is put in the bulrushes), but this is a particularly attractive offering for libraries wanting to build up their religion shelves. --Ilene Cooper Copyright 2004 Booklist

School Library Journal
(March 1, 2004; 0-439-35225-8)

Gr 3-5-Spirin's enthralling pencil-and-watercolor illustrations give the familiar Exodus story a rich and exotic look. The jacket itself wraps the climactic, panoramic Red Sea escape around the book. Inside, the adult Moses, resplendent in a cloudlike white robe, borrows grandeur from Michelangelo and sweetness from St. Nick. Egyptian art influences everything from the monumental architecture to the Nile flowers to Pharaoh's chair and golden sandals. Glorious temples, in close detail and distant elevation, displace boring pyramids. The angel in the burning bush sports jeweled, multihued wings. Dramatic changes in scale increase the visual excitement. However, the text is merely adequate. Flat diction ("But this is a very difficult task!' protested Moses"), wordiness, and the passive voice drain drama from the story. When Pharaoh's daughter spots the baby, she says, improbably, "I'll name him Moses, meaning drawn from the water.'" Without a map, the sentence "They went across the Egyptian border to Succoth, and from there to Etham and Baal-Zephon" is confusing, since it offers no answer to the natural question-if they haven't reached the Red Sea yet, aren't they still in Egypt? Leonard Everett Fisher's Moses (Holiday, 1995), with map, bibliography, and genealogy, vigorously retells more of the story.-Patricia D. Lothrop, St. George's School, Newport, RI Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

Publishers Weekly
(January 26, 2004; 0-439-35225-8)

As his many admirers will anticipate, Spirin's extraordinary art is the raison d'ˆtre of this stately looking volume. Although Beneduce (previously paired with Spirin for Philipok) writes smoothly, her text presumes familiarity with the subject (for example, it starts as Moses's mother, without any explanation, sends the baby down the Nile in a basket), but it also skirts the difficult questions. This Moses doesn't kill any Egyptians in his youth (he strikes down a guard, which displeases the pharaoh), and this God doesn't harden the pharaoh's heart. Although Beneduce enumerates the plagues in all their miseries, the exchanges aren't quite so lusty: "Now, won't you agree to let my people go?" Moses enquires of the pharaoh. But Spirin continues to outdo himself with his pencil and watercolor illustrations. He combines Western European painterly traditions with a hint of Egyptian composition. For example, in a scene of the pharaoh's daughter discovering the infant Moses, the princess and maidens are all shown in profile, on a nearly flat plane, but rendered in exquisite detail, from the folds of their diaphanous gowns to the gems in their headpieces. Framing an extract from Exodus are tiny scenes of Moses's and Aaron's visits to the pharaoh, a treatment one migh

Publishers Weekly
As his many admirers will anticipate, Spirin's extraordinary art is the raison d' tre of this stately looking volume. Although Beneduce (previously paired with Spirin for Philipok) writes smoothly, her text presumes familiarity with the subject (for example, it starts as Moses's mother, without any explanation, sends the baby down the Nile in a basket), but it also skirts the difficult questions. This Moses doesn't kill any Egyptians in his youth (he strikes down a guard, which displeases the pharaoh), and this God doesn't harden the pharaoh's heart. Although Beneduce enumerates the plagues in all their miseries, the exchanges aren't quite so lusty: "Now, won't you agree to let my people go?" Moses enquires of the pharaoh. But Spirin continues to outdo himself with his pencil and watercolor illustrations. He combines Western European painterly traditions with a hint of Egyptian composition. For example, in a scene of the pharaoh's daughter discovering the infant Moses, the princess and maidens are all shown in profile, on a nearly flat plane, but rendered in exquisite detail, from the folds of their diaphanous gowns to the gems in their headpieces. Framing an extract from Exodus are tiny scenes of Moses's and Aaron's visits to the pharaoh, a treatment one might find in a Renaissance painting. As always, the margins reward scrutiny with gorgeous borders (leave it to Spirin to turn frogs and locusts into works of beauty) and impossibly detailed miniatures that will have readers reaching for magnifying glasses. All ages. (Feb.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
Most know the story of Moses, the Hebrew lawgiver who, with God's help, shepherded his people from slavery in ancient Egypt to freedom in the Promised Land of Israel. So why produce yet another book retelling the tale? In this case, because the telling is both fresh and accurate, and the pictures are incredibly beautiful. Artist Spirin, trained in Russia and now living in Princeton, NJ, has produced a magnificent volume of gorgeous watercolor and pencil drawings notable for their authenticity, detail and sheer beauty. One can almost feel the sheerness of the Egyptian maidens' linen gowns, the nubby curls of Moses' sheepskin robe, and the bumps on the frogs' backs. And his faces, details, and dancing people are pure delight. As to the text, it is based on both the King James Bible and the 1981 "The Torah, Modern Commentary" (Union of American Hebrew Congregations, 1981), so it proves accurate, though modern, and is quite beautifully readable. This is a superb book that belongs on coffee tables as well as in libraries and private homes. 2004, Orchard, Ages 8 up.
—Judy Chernak
School Library Journal
Gr 3-5-Spirin's enthralling pencil-and-watercolor illustrations give the familiar Exodus story a rich and exotic look. The jacket itself wraps the climactic, panoramic Red Sea escape around the book. Inside, the adult Moses, resplendent in a cloudlike white robe, borrows grandeur from Michelangelo and sweetness from St. Nick. Egyptian art influences everything from the monumental architecture to the Nile flowers to Pharaoh's chair and golden sandals. Glorious temples, in close detail and distant elevation, displace boring pyramids. The angel in the burning bush sports jeweled, multihued wings. Dramatic changes in scale increase the visual excitement. However, the text is merely adequate. Flat diction ("`But this is a very difficult task!' protested Moses"), wordiness, and the passive voice drain drama from the story. When Pharaoh's daughter spots the baby, she says, improbably, "I'll name him Moses, meaning `drawn from the water.'" Without a map, the sentence "They went across the Egyptian border to Succoth, and from there to Etham and Baal-Zephon" is confusing, since it offers no answer to the natural question-if they haven't reached the Red Sea yet, aren't they still in Egypt? Leonard Everett Fisher's Moses (Holiday, 1995), with map, bibliography, and genealogy, vigorously retells more of the story.-Patricia D. Lothrop, St. George's School, Newport, RI Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Beneduce retells stories from the life of Moses in a fictionalized biography style told in contemporary language, using both the Torah and the King James Bible as references. The freely flowing text includes the story of Moses as a baby with his sister Miriam, a summary of his younger days, and then focuses on Moses leading the Hebrews out of slavery in Egypt after many punishments sent by God to the Pharaoh and his people. An epilogue summarizes the remainder of the life of Moses, including the approximate time setting of the events. Spirin's detailed and light-filled pencil-and-watercolor illustrations bring the old tales to life: Miriam and baby Moses in his basket, the plagues of snakes and frogs, Moses thrusting his rod toward the sky to unleash a storm. The volume's exquisite design includes some illustrated pages with panels incorporating passages of biblical text and smaller spot illustrations at the bottom of many pages adding details and visual interest. (author's note) (Nonfiction. 6-10)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780439352253
  • Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
  • Publication date: 2/1/2004
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.32 (w) x 12.34 (h) x 0.39 (d)

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