Miriam in the Desert

Content on this page requires a newer version of Adobe Flash Player.

Get Adobe Flash player

Illustrated by Natascia Ugliano
KarBen/Lerner, Ages 5-9, Grades K-3
32 pages
ISBN: 978-0-7613-4494-0 (HC), $17.95
           978-0-7613-4496-4 (PB), $8.95

The Israelites have been freed from slavery in Egypt and follow Moses through the desert. On their journey, Miriam comforts them through hunger, thirst, and endless wilderness. Her grandson Bezalel draws pictures in the sand as he dreams of miracles. When his great-uncle Moses climbs the mountain to receive God's laws, Bezalel learns he is the artist chosen to craft the Holy Ark.

Miriam in the Desert named 2011 Notable Book for Younger Readers by the Sydney Taylor Awards Committee

See blog posts:

Imagining Biblical Heroines, on JWorld Cafe

Sit a While: Miriam in the Desert

Jewish Children's Books -- Abraham's Search for God

"This warm, celebratory book adds a human element to the Israelites time in the desert, and along with the others in Jules and Uglianos Bible series (Abrahams Search for God, 2007; Sarah Laughs, 2008; and Benjamin and the Silver Goblet, 2009) provides a good entry point to talk about drawing stories and messages from Bible passages." -- Booklist, November 15, 2010.

"Deeply colored pastel-and-acrylic double-page paintings effectively portray a legendary biblical setting in a guileless and unsophisticated style; the deep ochres and blues of the desert landscape provide a warm backdrop that takes the edge off the misery of the Israelites. They effectively match the original and simple dialogue-driven text."-- Kirkus Reviews, August 1, 2010.

"A Bible legend comes to life in Jacqueline Jules's lovely tale of Miriam, sister of Moses and wise woman of her people. . . . Jules retells this legend . . . in poetic and evocative language. Young children will be eager to join in the refrain." -- AJL Newsletter, September/October 2010.

"Ugliano's palette of blues, oranges, and greens exudes maternal warmth, and the compositions' curvilinear lilt is fitting for a character with such strong associations to music making and dancing." -- Publishers Weekly, September 6, 2010.

"Author Jacqueline Jules tells the story in prose, but it is lyrical and rhythmic prose. Artist Natascia Ugliano has produced illustrations that complement the text perfectly. The pictures convey a sense of movement well-suited to the story of the Israelites' journey, and they are rendered in a palette of warm earth tones combined with intense blues and greens. Story and illustrations combine to make this book a little feast for the senses, a little bite of manna from heaven." -- About.com Grandparents.

"In Miriam in the Desert, poet, teacher and children’s book author Jacqueline Jules (The Hardest Word, a wonderful Yom Kippur story, is just one of her many outstanding books) reimagines the prophet’s story with the lyricism and timelessness of an ancient midrash." -- Jewish Woman Magazine, 2010.

"This simple story is perfect for young children learning both their basic Bible stories, and a little about the personality of God. The pictures do a wonderful job of conveying both the frustrations and the hope of the Israelites. We give it a 5 out of 5." -- Three Turtles and Their Pet Librarian blog, January 8, 2011.

"Miriam in the Desert is a superb weaving of legend and Talmud creating access for any age reader into the journey that took the Jews across the desert. . . . Jules' marvelous visual text and a rhyming song are perfectly complemented by Ugliano's engaging illustrations." -- Jewish Book World, Winter 2010.

Buy Miriam in the Desert on LineBuy Abraham's Search for God from an indie bookstore

Return to Jacqueline Jules Home | About Me | Books |
| Author Visits | Activities | Blog Page | Links | Contact Me