Nachshon, Who Was Afraid to Swim

A Passover Story

  • Interest Level: Preschool - Grade 2
  • Reading Level: Grade 2

For generations Nachshon’s family has been enslaved by the Egyptian Pharaoh. Nachshon is afraid it will be his destiny too. Then Moses confronts the fearsome Pharaoh, and Nachshon’s dream of freedom begins to come true. But soon he has to overcome his own special fear. The story of the brave boy who was the first to jump into the sea will inspire young and old alike.

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Interest Level Preschool - Grade 2
Reading Level Grade 2
Genre Picture Books
Copyright 2009
Publisher Lerner Publishing Group
Imprint Kar-Ben Publishing ®
Language English
Number of Pages 32
Publication Date 2014-01-01
Text Type Fiction
BISACS JUV017120, JUV033020
Dewey [E]
Graphics Full-color illustrations
Dimensions 10 x 8.25
Features Awards, Original artwork, and Reviewed

Author: Deborah Bodin Cohen

Rabbi Deborah Bodin Cohen is the author of many award-winning children's books including Papa Jethro and Nachshon Who Was Afraid to Swim. She lives in Maryland with her husband and three children.

Illustrator: Jago

Jago has illustrated more than forty books in the United States, the UK, Europe, South Korea, and South Africa. He lives in Cornwall, UK, with his wife and two children. Find him online at


  • Sydney Taylor Book Award Honor, Runner-up, 2009
  • National Jewish Book Award Finalist, Runner-up, 2009


Kirkus Reviews

“Jago’s stylized art supplies his characters with Egyptian profiles atop slender bodies; the predominant oranges, yellows and browns, then blues and greens, befit the desert and watery settings, respectively.”
Kirkus Reviews

Publishers Weekly

“Jago’s highly stylized digital pictures are handsome and heartfelt: his gold-hued palette and mural-like compositions convey the heat and oppressiveness of Egypt, while his elaborately textured (and seemingly handmade) surfaces make the pages feel burnished by the forces of history and faith.”
Publishers Weekly

School Library Journal

“The digitally prepared, mixed-media illustrations utilize muted yellow, orange, and brown tones to depict the sweltering heat of the desert and bright blue and green tones to illustrate the celebration of freedom. They complement and enhance the text marvelously. A wonderful, unique addition.”
School Library Journal