WHO COUNTS? by Amy-Jill Levine


100 Sheep, 10 Coins, and 2 Sons
Age Range: 5 - 8
Email this review


Three parables of Jesus from the Christian Bible are retold with modern-day settings and characters.

Levine (Jewish Studies/Vanderbilt) and Sasso, a rabbi, use diverse settings and a multicultural cast of characters to recount the parables of the lost sheep, the lost coin, and the prodigal son. “One Hundred Sheep” is set on a contemporary ranch with a bearded, white shepherd in plaid flannel shirt, jeans, and cowboy boots. He notices when just one of his flock goes missing and searches until he finds her. “Ten Coins” is the story of a brown-skinned woman with dark, curly hair who temporarily misplaces one of her silver coins, identified in the text as drachmas, although that term is not further defined. “Two Sons,” the longest story in the collection, recounts the story of a father’s relationship with his two adult sons. The father and sons have light-brown skin and dark, curly hair. Each story ends with a celebration including neighbors and friends of different ethnicities. The confident, cheery tone of the text is well-matched with appealing illustrations that effectively convey the emotions of the characters. The large trim size makes this an excellent choice for reading to a group, and no prior knowledge of the specific Bible stories is necessary for comprehension. A thoughtful authors’ note to parents and teachers offers interpretation of the three parables, discussion suggestions, and source references for the biblical texts.

An unusual and creative interpretation of the three parables, offering the satisfying conclusion that each person (or sheep or coin) matters and should be counted. (Picture book/religion. 5-8)

Pub Date: May 5th, 2017
ISBN: 978-0-664-26274-7
Page count: 40pp
Publisher: Westminster John Knox Press
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1st, 2017


ChildrenREGINA PERSISTED by Sandy Eisenberg Sasso
by Sandy Eisenberg Sasso
ChildrenWHEN GOD GAVE US WORDS by Sandy Eisenberg Sasso
by Sandy Eisenberg Sasso
by Amy-Jill Levine