Max and Emma Cross the Red Sea
Did the Red Sea really part for the Israelites in the desert? Max and Emma are going back in time to find out!
Max wants to be brave, but he doesn't know how. He can't even chant the Four Questions without stuttering, and his family's seder is just around the corner.
To avoid practicing the Four Questions, Max travels back in time with his friend Emma. There they meet Moses, who rallies his people to cross the Red Sea despite his own stutter, and Nachshon, who takes a leap of faith to help the Israelites . . . and one pesky poodle! With the Egyptian army right behind them, Max learns that courage comes in many forms--and that he's much braver then he thought.
Dont' miss the first Torah Time Travel adventure, Max Builds a Time Machine!
About the Author
Carl Harris Shuman is a semi-retired lawyer who writes, paints, and gardens. Also the author of Max Builds a Time Machine, Carl lives in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania with his wife, Beth, and enjoys visting their grandchildren in Brooklyn.
About the Illustrator
C.B. Decker also illustrated the Avi the Ambulance series and Farmer Kobi's Hanukkah Match. She lives in Eagle Mountain, Utah.
From the Note for Families
During the Passover seder, Jewish kids all over the world chant the Four Questions. Easy, right? Not if you're Max. When he tries to read the questions in Hebrew, he stammers and his hands sweat.
To escape his predicament, Max takes his time machine to ancient Egypt to see if God really parted the Red Sea. This time Max's new friend Emma joins him, along with Kelev, her pesky poodle. In no time, Max, Emma, and the Israelites become trapped between Pharoah's army adn the raging waters of the Red Sea. Even worse, Kelev jumps in and almost drowns!
What does it take to save them? There is Moses, of course, who despite his stutter rallies the Israelites to cross the sea. Then there is Nachshon, who silently shows by example how to muster courage and face the unknown. But there is also something else--a small voice, perhaps, that tells Max, Emma, and the Israelites to have faith, to keep trying, to help each other, and to move forward. And who is to say that such a quiet voice within each person isn't as miraculous as the angel, the pillar of cloud, and the bolts of fire that save the Israelites at the Red Sea?
Have you ever been afraid of a new situation or a difficult task? Have you ever helped someone overcome his or her fears? If so, what quiet voice did you listen to in order to find your courage?
This is part of a combined review for Max Builds a Time Machine.
Easy-to-read language and colorful illustrations make these two time-travel adventure tales based on stories in the Torah excellent introductions to biblical characters. Protagonists Max and Emma use a home-made time machine to travel to ancient times, where they participate in events they have only learned about in Hebrew school.
In the first book, Max has little patience for his classmate Emma. When Max finds himself in Abraham and Sarah’s tent along with three mysterious strangers, he learns an important lesson about hospitality and about the proper way to greet and interact with strangers. When Max returns, he is kinder and more accepting of Emma, and the two start to become friends. A “Note for Families” is appended, summarizing and extending some of the lessons Max has learned during his time travel experience.
In the second story, Max and his family are preparing for the Passover seder, and Max develops a case of stage fright while contemplating singing the Four Questions. This time, his new friend, Emma, and her poodle, Kelev, accompany Max on his time machine adventure. They arrive at the Red Sea shortly before the Israelites are ready to plunge into the water in order to escape the Egyptians, who are chasing them and who hope to reinstate them as slaves. They meet Nachshon, the first of the Israelites to brave the sea before it splits, allowing them to pass in safety. Max learns some important lessons about bravery and that throughout history, public speaking has been a daunting task for many, including Moses. Another “Note to Families” appended to the second story encourages children to face and overcome their fears.
Both books are fun to read and help children and their families think about biblical stories in a new light, drawing attention to connections in their own lives, which will help them become kinder and more confident as they mature. Schools and parents will welcome this series as part of a larger conversation about Jewish and general values that affect children’s daily lives.
--Michal Malen, The Jewish Book Council