Sarah Laughs

  • Interest Level: Kindergarten - Grade 3
  • Reading Level: Grade 2

This biblical story tells of the elderly Sarah who laughs in delight when she overhears three strangers tell her husband Abraham that he will soon become a father. When a son is born to her the following year she names him Isaac, which means laughter, and the world rejoices with her.

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Interest Level Kindergarten - Grade 3
Reading Level Grade 2
Genre Picture Books
Copyright 2008
Publisher Lerner Publishing Group
Imprint Kar-Ben Publishing ®
Language English
Number of Pages 32
Publication Date 2014-01-01
Reading Counts! Level 3.7
Reading Counts! Points 1.0
Text Type Fiction
BISACS JUV033020, JUV033000
Dewey 222'.1109505
Graphics Full-color illustrations
Dimensions 9.5 x 9.75
Lexile 640
ATOS Reading Level 3.5
Accelerated Reader® Quiz 128431
Accelerated Reader® Points 0.5
Features Reviewed

Author: Jacqueline Jules

Jacqueline Jules is an award-winning author and poet. Her many children's books include The Hardest Word (National Jewish Book Award finalist), What a Way to Start the New Year! A Rosh Hashanah Story, and Moses and the Runaway Lamb. She lives in Long Island, New York.

Illustrator: Natascia Ugliano

Natascia Ugliano received her diploma at the Fine Arts Academy of Brera, in Milan, Italy. She has illustrated many children's books including Abraham's Search for God, Sarah Laughs, and Benjamin and the Silver Goblet. She lives in Milan.



The Old Testament says little about Sarah’s feelings, so this moving picture book draws on midrash (legend) and on modern biblical commentary to imagine the inner life of Abraham’s wife. Warm, clear, rhythmic acrylic double-page spreads show the close bond between husband and wife, as well as the larger story of the couple leading peo-ple as nomads until they arrive in Canaan. Always there is the warmth inside Sarah’s tent, with the doors wide open to welcome others and teach worship of one invisible God. But there is sorrow, too. In a dream, God predicts to Abraham that the children of his children will be as many as the stars, but Sarah cannot bear children, and she urges Abraham to take a second wife—until an angel appears to Abraham, and, finally, a son is born to the elderly couple. They name him Isaac, which means ―laughter,‖ and the climactic picture shows Sarah holding her baby in a world circle of joy.

AJL Newsletter

“Like the author and illustrator’s previous collaboration, Abraham’s Search for God, this is an appealing and reverent retelling of a Bible story, enhanced with midrashic elements that are cited in an Afterword. Highly recommended.”
AJL Newsletter

Kirkus Reviews

“Mellifluous full-­page spreads in tones of green and blue pastel/crayon media depict the lyrically told story of this Jewish matriarch who believed her childbearing years had passed. An accessible rendition of the ancient biblical text for young religiously oriented listeners.”
Kirkus Reviews

The Horn Book Guide

Jules retells and expands upon the story of Sarah, wife of Abraham. This quiet version, informed by biblical scholarship and legend, emphasizes Sarah’s feelings and faith. The illustrations’ curved lines and soothing colors match the book’s calm tone; this is an epic story presented as an accessible human drama. An author’s note provides information about sources.

School Library Journal

“This lovely retelling deserves a place on the shelves of any library that collects religious materials.”
School Library Journal