Miriam at the River

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

The biblical story of baby Moses as told by his big sister.

Giving her baby brother a kiss, brave little Miriam places Moses’s basket into the river. With one quick push, she sends him into the water, hoping her wish will come true and her brother will be saved from Pharaoh’s orders. But will Pharaoh’s daughter arrive in time to rescue him?

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Interest Level Kindergarten - Grade 3
Reading Level Grade 2
Genre Picture Books
Copyright 2020
Publisher Lerner Publishing Group
Imprint Kar-Ben Publishing ®
Language English
Number of Pages 32
Publication Date 2020-02-04
Text Type Folktale/Legend
BISACS JUV033020, JUV016020, JUV022000
Dewey [E]
Graphics Full-color illustrations
Dimensions 9.25 x 11
Lexile 670
ATOS Reading Level 4.5
Accelerated Reader® Quiz 508745
Accelerated Reader® Points 0.5
Features Author/Illustrator biography, Awards, and Reviewed

Author: Jane Yolen

Jane Yolen lives in Massachusetts and has written more than 400 books across all genres and age ranges, including the Sydney Taylor Honor book Miriam at the River. In 2022 she was named the The Sydney Taylor Body-of-Work Winner. She has been called the Hans Christian Andersen of America and the Aesop of the twentieth century.

Illustrator: Khoa Le

Khoa Le has illustrated picture books published in a number of different countries, including the 2020 Sydney Taylor Honor book Miriam at the River. She is also an author, a graphic designer, and a painter. Khoa has a passion for travel, an eagerness to learn about different cultures, and a desire to discover the beauty of the world. Her inner moth makes her attracted to any source of light, but her dream is to one day see the northern lights. She lives in Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam, with her five cats.

Meet the Imprints: Kar-Ben Publishing

We continue our stroll through Lerner Publishing Group’s many imprints with a look at Kar-Ben Publishing, the largest publisher of Jewish children’s books in the world. Read on to learn more about the broad publishing program Kar-Ben enjoys and some of our most familiar and popular books View →


  • Children's Book Committee at Bank Street College Best Children's Book of the Year, Winner, 2021
  • Sydney Taylor Honor Book, Commended, 2020


San Diego Jewish World

Miriam at the River will be a treasured book during Passover and all throughout the year." — Marcia Berneger, San Diego Jewish World

Jewish Book Council

“Although the book clos­es with Miriam’s con­fi­dent asser­tion that ‘some day all the world/will know my brother’s name,’ Yolen and Le have pre­sent­ed the ear­ly life of a woman who will also change history.”— Emily Schneider, Jewish Book Council

AJL Newsletter

“An enlightening note at the end of the book includes the biblical story on which this book is based, with mention of the three times in Miriam’s life where water is significant” — Anne Dublin, retired librarian of Holy Blossom Temple and author of A Cage Without Bars (Second Story Press, 2018), Toronto


“This book may appeal to thoughtful children, fans of poetry, and educators looking for examples of modern midrash, or stories that imaginatively fill the gaps in Bible stories.” — Miriam Aronin, Booklist Online

Sydney Taylor Shmooze

“This is a worthy contender for the Sydney Taylor Gold Medal for Picture Books.” — Kathy Bloomfield, VP of the Association of Jewish Libraries, Sydney Taylor Shmooze

Cleveland Jewish News

“Miriam at the River’ revisits the biblical story of Moses as told by his big sister in this book for those ages 5 to 9.” — Bob Jacob, Co-Editor, CJN

JTA (Global News Service of the Jewish People)

“Yolen, a master storyteller, will enchant a new generation of young readers with this imaginative, lyrical retelling of the biblical story of Miriam, the older sister of Moses.” — Penny Schwartz, JTA

Robinson Reporter

“As the world again faces a destructive plague, we are all seeking leaders who can take us out and forward into a better day and perhaps a promised land. What better time, then, to enjoy this beautiful book by acclaimed author Jane Yolen?” — Matt Robinson, The Robinson Reporter

Sandra Bornstein

“Jewish children’s literature is enriched this year with Jane Yolen’s picture book, Miriam at the River.” — Sandra Bornstein

Jewish Journal

“This exquisite retelling of the poignant beginnings of Moses’ life is welcome particularly because it emphasizes the courage and selflessness of the female characters of the biblical story.” — Lisa Silverman, Jewish Journal

Jewish Link NJ

“With Pesach coming up, it’s a great opportunity to teach children about Miriam and her role in the story.” — Adam Samuel, Journalist, Jewish Link NJ, Teaneck, NJ

A Journey To A Promised Land Which Flows With Milk and Honey

“I think this is the deepest version of a children’s story about Moses that I have come across.” — Jill Harris


“There are very few stories which center brave women and girls from the Bible, and this is a welcome chance to delve deeper into these central figures from the Passover story.” — Rachael Reiley, San Jose State Univ, iSch Student, BayViews

Publishers Weekly

“Yolen puts readers inside Miriam’s mind as the girl carries out her mission and realizes she is part of a bigger destiny.” — Publishers Weekly

Kirkus Reviews

“Elegant storks wade in the water as hippos and crocodiles swim nearby. This biblical tale is filled with wonder, hope, and beauty.” — Kirkus Reviews