THE BLESSING SEED

A CREATION MYTH FOR THE NEW MILLENNIUM

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. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Aug. 20, 1998

ISBN: 1-901223-28-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Barefoot

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 1998

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

THE BEST CHEF IN SECOND GRADE

An impending school visit by a celebrity chef sends budding cook Ollie into a tailspin. He and his classmates are supposed to bring a favorite family food for show and tell, but his family doesn’t have a clear choice—besides, his little sister Rosy doesn’t like much of anything. What to do? As in their previous two visits to Room 75, Kenah builds suspense while keeping the tone light, and Carter adds both bright notes of color and familiar home and school settings in her cartoon illustrations. Eventually, Ollie winkles favorite ingredients out of his clan, which he combines into a mac-and-cheese casserole with a face on top that draws delighted praise from the class’s renowned guest. As Ollie seems to do his kitchen work without parental assistance, a cautionary tip or two (and maybe a recipe) might not have gone amiss here, but the episode’s mouthwatering climax and resolution will guarantee smiles of contentment all around. (Easy reader. 6-7)

Pub Date: Dec. 1, 2007

ISBN: 978-0-06-053561-2

Page Count: 48

Publisher: HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2007

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

THIS SCHOOL YEAR WILL BE THE BEST!

On the first day of school, this primary-grade teacher encourages her students to share their hopes for the coming year. In one- or two-page spreads, the wishes unfold: for the best seat on the bus, a chocolate fountain at lunch, to kick the ball into the right goal, not to be a vegetable in the school play. The quotidian-but-nevertheless-marvelous (“at least one snow day”) mixes with the slightly ridiculous (“We’ll have Skateboard Day”) to provide a kid-level survey of anticipated fun. Andriani’s line-and-watercolor cartoons likewise mix the fanciful (one little boy brings his giant purple boa constrictor for show-and-tell) and the realistic (two girls jump double Dutch as one of them imagines making friends in her new school). A catalog more than a story, this agreeable book could act as a fruitful springboard for class brainstorming. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: July 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-0-525-42275-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Dutton

Review Posted Online: June 3, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2010

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more