In this thought-provoking and handsomely executed fable, God puts a positive spin on humankind's partaking of the fruit of the tree of life. ""In the beginning, God sang everything alive,"" and in a paradise in which the gifts of the natural world are crucial, a coffee-colored Woman yearns to know of her and Man's special gifts. The results of eating from the tree of life are dramatic, manifest in such details as the animals hiding from the couple. Although they are frightened by the consequences of their act, God smiles: ""I made human beings for their longing to know--it is time for you to explore the four paths."" Rather than the punishment of the Fall, these two find in their error an ultimately enriching experience, as they thank God and spread His blessing throughout the earth. The vibrant watercolors, resembling batik prints, are composed with ingenuity to reveal an abundant, evolving planet. The plants, animals and people are stylized to beautiful effect; Man and Woman are naked, but not graphically so. In an author's note, Matthews offers a lengthy, meaty rationale for her determination to offer a story of ""original blessing"" rather than original sin, and cites her sources; readers, therefore, set sail with a steady hand on the tiller. This rewarding book has a place on many shelves, and not only in religious markets.
Pub Date: Aug. 20, 1998
Page Count: 32
Publisher: "Barefoot (203 Clinton St., Brooklyn, NY 11201)"