Scar­lett and Sam: Escape from Egypt

Eric A. Kim­mel; Ivi­ca Ste­vanovic, illus.
  • Review
By – June 15, 2015

Twins Scar­lett and Sam are quar­rel­ing while their par­ents and grand­moth­er are get­ting ready for the Pesach seder. Their quar­rel leads to a trip on their grandmother’s mag­ic car­pet that trans­ports them back in time to ancient Egypt. Although they are still in their mod­ern garb they are mis­tak­en for Hebrews of the time and are tak­en into slav­ery. After a har­rowing expe­ri­ence, they escape and become part of Moses and Aaron’s entourage as they request and then demand that Pharaoh lets the Hebrews leave. The sto­ry­line remains quite true to the Bib­li­cal text with some midrashim incor­po­rat­ed in order to enhance the sto­ry. An extra wrench is thrown into the sto­ry when Scar­lett and Sam befriend Pharaoh’s old­est son. Kim­mel incor­po­rates sib­ling rival­ry between Pharaoh and Moses, time-trav­el ref­er­ences includ­ing quotes from tele­vi­sion shows and pod­cast nar­ra­tives, and premoni­tions as Sam and Scar­lett are famil­iar with the Torah sto­ry. This book can serve as a dis­cus­sion starter for par­sha dis­cus­sions or the Pesach seder at school or at home. 

Stevanovic’s sketch­es enhance the sto­ry pro­viding visu­als of Aaron, Moses, Sam, Scar­lett, and oth­er key char­ac­ters. Rec­om­mend­ed for ages 6 – 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.

Discussion Questions