Sarah Laughsby Jacqueline Jules, Natascia Ugliano (Illustrator)
This biblical story tells of the elderly Sarah who laughs in delight when she overhears three strangers tell her husband Abraham that he will soon become a father. When a son is born to her the following year she names him Isaac, which means laughter, and the world rejoices with her.
K-Gr 3- Through poetic language and sweeping illustrations, this picture book tells the story of the biblical patriarch and matriarch Abraham and Sarah from Sarah's point of view. From her early support of her husband's revolutionary monotheism and throughout their many journeys together, Sarah is portrayed as graceful, loving, and faithful. However, her sadness about remaining childless through the years has made her lose her bright laughter. With the birth of Isaac, when she is gray-haired and wrinkled, she finally laughs again "and the whole world clapped hands and laughed with her." The events of the story have been simplified, and the focus remains tightly on Sarah's feelings. While this version may be short on biblical detail and historical context, it does a beautiful job of exploring the emotions behind Sarah's actions. She is most often portrayed in storybooks as an old woman, and it's a pleasant change to see a pretty, bright-eyed young woman and her handsome husband. Ugliano skillfully ages the characters as the tale progresses, adding a sad patience to Sarah's expression that makes her joy in the final pages all the more compelling. This lovely retelling deserves a place on the shelves of any library that collects religious materials.-Heidi Estrin, Feldman Children's Library at Congregation B'nai Israel, Boca Raton, FL
Meet the Author
Jacqueline Jules is the author of The Ziz and the Hanukkah Miracle, Noah and the Ziz, The Hardest Word, Once Upon a Shabbos, and Clap and Count, and is an elementary school librarian. Her award-winning poetry and prose has appeared in many magazines including Cricket, Cicada, and Highlights for Children. She has two grown sons and lives in Arlington, Virginia, with her husband.
Natascia Ugliano has an art degree, as well as a diploma from the Fine Arts Academy of Brera, in Italy. She has illustrated several books including Storm Treasure by Anne Adeney and The Little Mermaid by H.C. Andersen (Anne Adeney version), both for Franklin Watts Publishing, London. She lives in Milan, Italy.
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