The Creation story, interpreted with minimalist art.
Rylant’s text, looking as if hand-lettered and adapted from Chapters 1 and 2 of the book of Genesis from the King James Bible, emphasizes for the youngest readers and listeners how very basic yet how extraordinary this story simultaneously is. Her naïve acrylic paintings are charmingly innocent and appealing, readily capturing the salient points of each day’s work, each rendered in a separate double-page spread. (Creationists should be pleased at the painting of a dinosaur to depict the creation of “the beasts.”) Children who already know this story may enjoy seeing and hearing this latest version. Youngsters who are unfamiliar with the opening chapters of the book of Genesis may well wonder, after the final lines, just what happens next? Such queries should stimulate lively conversations. Brushstrokes are readily visible, often dominating compositions, as in the creation of Day and Night, in which darkness looks like a gray, feathered wing laid over the light. Depicted figures—the aforementioned dinosaur, birds, tortoises—have a pleasingly blobby look. This adaptation’s low-key illustrations bring the story to a child’s level; they will not satisfy those seeking to revel in its majesty.
Child-friendliness substitutes for awe in this cozy rendition. (Picture book/religion. 3-7)