A lovely, quiet interpretation of some of the most famous verses from the Old Testament, one that will last through many...

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ECCLESIASTES

TO EVERYTHING THERE IS A SEASON

Newbery Medalist Rylant continues her series of simplified Bible verse interpretations with this illustrated version of the familiar “to everything there is a season” text, adapted from the King James version of the book of Ecclesiastes.

Rylant’s illustrations are bold and minimalist, with an understated simplicity and a naïve, folk-art sensibility. The striking cover shows a cozy, white house against a lavender background, with a huge sunflower sprouting up almost to the roofline. The acrylic paintings use broad brushstrokes for grass and skies, with a green-budding tree symbolizing “a time to be born” and falling autumn leaves for “a time to die.” A fair-skinned child is shown working in a raised garden bed for “a time to plant” and then delivering flowers to an older white woman with gray hair on the following spread. The illustration for “a time to weep” shows a dark-skinned mother and daughter waving farewell to a departing father; “a time to laugh” depicts the joyous reunion of father and child. That pair of illustrations conveys its own little story that even very young children will immediately recognize. War is conveyed by two bucks battling with locked antlers, and peace is a cow grazing contentedly. Each pair of illustrations is thoughtfully designed and composed, with just enough visual information to convey each concept.

A lovely, quiet interpretation of some of the most famous verses from the Old Testament, one that will last through many seasons. (Picture book/religion. 2-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 18, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-4814-7654-6

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Beach Lane/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: June 25, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2018

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This sweet, gentle interpretation of an African American spiritual features a notably diverse cast.

HE'S GOT THE WHOLE WORLD IN HIS HANDS

The pages of this board book offer colorful interpretations of each verse of the traditional song.

The pictures feature diverse groups of family and friends engaged in child-friendly activities such as camping, picnicking, and celebrating a birthday together. The rhyming text, which will be familiar to many caregivers raised in the United States, can be either sung or read: For those unfamiliar with the song, the words are rhythmic enough to be interesting to read even without a tune. With the possible exception of a final cityscape, landscapes are mostly European or North American, though one double-page spread celebrating nature includes a mishmash of tropical, savanna, and temperate woodland flora and fauna. The lyrics are italicized and featured prominently but are also strategically placed so as not to interfere with the illustrations. Starting from the first page, the human characters in the pictures representing the lyrics are diverse in terms of skin color, age, ability, religion, gender, and body type. The artist uses a vibrant but not overwhelming palette and soft brush strokes to infuse each illustration with a soothing, playful feeling and to fill the characters with movement, expression, and joy. The level of detail in each illustration allows adults and kids alike the opportunity to discover something new every time they look at it.

This sweet, gentle interpretation of an African American spiritual features a notably diverse cast. (Board book. 2-6)

Pub Date: Feb. 4, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-68010-587-2

Page Count: 16

Publisher: Tiger Tales

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020

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Children of Abrahamic faiths drawn to this book’s bright, eye-catching illustrations will find a message of inclusion within.

GOD'S BIG PLAN

Diversity is God’s gift to his creation.

In this new interpretation of the biblical story of the Tower of Babel, readers are told of the descendants of Noah and how they lived together in the city of Shinar. The people were all the same; they looked alike, lived the same way, and spoke one language. They wanted life to remain that way; however, God had a different plan. He wanted his people to be diverse, and so he gave them many different languages, ways of life, and places to live around the world. The story continues with readers seeing the great diversity God created: different races, religions, and lands. Yamasaki’s stunning illustrations are colorful and rich, showing diversity in everything from types of homes to a wide array of foods to multiple houses of worship. Readers are taken from the world and people of ancient Babylon to diverse, modern children eating around a table, giving child readers the opportunity to relate to and see themselves reflected in the story. This is a provocative vehicle for introducing ideas of diversity to young readers. Questions to discuss with young children are provided that will allow readers to reflect upon the ways people are both different and alike. Although members and symbols of nonmonotheistic faiths are represented in the illustrations, neither primary text nor backmatter acknowledges that many of Earth’s peoples do not recognize this book’s construction of God.

Children of Abrahamic faiths drawn to this book’s bright, eye-catching illustrations will find a message of inclusion within. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: April 23, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-947888-06-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Flyaway Books

Review Posted Online: Jan. 28, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2019

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