Children past the picture-book stage could have no better introduction to Old Testament tales than this approachable new version. Told in fresh, vivid language, these 13 stories (Genesis to Kings) shimmer with vitality. The authors (both biblical scholars) have used their own translations from the Hebrew to add details, puns, and humor to their interpretations. Half of the stories emphasize women; interesting historical facts (e.g., Jael, like most women, probably set up the family tents, so was handy with tent spikes) are included as notes. Flora, fauna, food, and clothing are introduced as effective detail (Noah's sons don't like kohlrabi or turnips, but Noah insists on taking every living thing). The Caldecott Award-winning Dillons contribute lovely, vibrant illustrations to this beautifully designed and written collection. Bibliography (headed ""For Further Reading"") of scholarly works. A companion volume is planned.