Cohen’s interpretation of the midrash of Nachshon being the first Israelite to enter the Nile upon their escape from Egypt allows the modern child to relate to the story. Nachshon is portrayed as a hero who has one flaw — he is afraid to swim. He is a slave who is excited and encouraged by the appearance of Moses. When the whole nation stops at the Nile, as the Egyptians follow close behind, he is portrayed as being so inspired by Moses that he is the first to enter despite his fear of the water. The digitally prepared, mixedmedia illustrations are brightly colored portrayals of the people and surroundings of Egypt. The scenes are meant to be historically- based yet recognizable to the today’s children as something they can relate to, e.g. the tents and bonfire as the Israelites leave Egypt. It is a positive and fun addition to Passover reading. Ages 4 – 9.
Drora Arussy, Ed.D., is an educational consultant who specializes in integrating Jewish and secular studies, the arts into education, and creative teaching for excellence in Jewish education. She is the mother to four school-age children and has taught from pre-school through adult. Drora is an adjunct professor of Hebrew language at Drew University.