Baby Moses in a Basket, by Caryn Yacowitz/Illustrated by Julie Downing, (March 2021, Candlewick Press), $17.99, ISBN: 9781536206098
The oft-recounted story of Baby Moses’s journey as an infant gets a rhyming take. On the first spread, we see a woman looking off page, face twinged with sadness, as she reaches a hand out toward an infant in a basket on the other page, tiny hand reaching up from the basket. On the next page, the rhyme begins the story of Baby Moses’s journey down the River Nile, where denizens of the river – Curious Ibis, Mama Hippo, and Mighty Crocodile – watch over him to keep him safe until he arrives in the arms of the pharaoh’s daughter. Gentle earth colors guide the reader through each spread, as do the movements of each of the animals and the basket itself. Baby Moses carefully watches everything around him at first, eyes open and hands outstretched, and gently naps as different animals guide his basket to safety. The story ends with pharaoh’s daughter holding him up in the air after taking him from his basket, all the animals surrounding the two, having seen him through to his destination. A bittersweet ending and a hopeful one all at once. A gentle story for the upcoming Passover season, for Sunday school, or any reason.