Review: Moses and the Runaway Lamb

Moses and the Runaway Lamb

by Jacqueline Jules, illustrated by Eleanor Rees Howell

Kar-Ben Publishing (imprint of Lerner Publishing Group), 2023

Category: Picture Books
Reviewer: Suzanne Grossman

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In this version of the midrashic tale found in Shemot Rabbah 2:2, Moses is developing the characteristics that lead G-d to select him to later lead the Israelites' Exodus from Egypt. Refreshingly represented as a dark-skinned young man, Moses goes in search of one little lamb that has wandered off. Not giving up until he has reunited the lamb with its mother, Moses realizes that even though he has many other lambs, each one is valuable. Observing this event, G-d chooses Moses to later lead His people because of his compassion and commitment to every living creature. Flowing artwork with a light palette brings the reader into the desert atmosphere of wide open spaces and wilderness, adding to the appeal of the story. 

The Jewish content is prevalent throughout with the focus on Jewish ethics, but easily relatable to children of all religions. This book is an excellent read-aloud for groups or a cozy family storytime. It’s a terrific addition to both Jewish and secular children’s libraries. 
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Reviewer Suzanne Grossman is happily retired after 30 years as a children’s library media specialist. She had the opportunity to share books, tell stories, and encourage the joy of reading with thousands of children. The moment when a child enters a story, experiences life as a character does and walks through the setting the author has created is magical. She is honored to have the opportunity to be part of the Sydney Taylor Shmooze, working to bring the best of the newest Jewish children’s literature into the lives of young readers. Having the gift of time, she now enjoys writing picture books and sharing them with children. Happy reading everyone!