ELIJAH THE SLAVE
Isaac Bashevis Singer
Heavenly intercession spawns many legends but it takes more than providence to make a story. Summarily, Tobias the scribe loses the use of his right hand and so his livelihood; shortly, Elijah, a messenger from God, not only removes his disability but vastly improves his lot -- this by insisting that Tobias sell him as a slave and promising a palace to the highest bidder. Which done, he is free to return to heaven. Arid -- and the illustrations pose gaunt, awkward figures derived from early medieval miniatures against sweeping bands of color: the effect is mannered, discordant, altogether offputting for children.