SAINT PAUL

What we know of the complicated life of this early Christian missionary is related through several books in the New Testament. In this biographical compilation, the author uses all the various books of the Bible related to Paul to create a linear narrative of his life, presented in short chapters with abundant spot and full-page illustrations rendered by Cockroft in a muted but pleasing style. A map on the front endpapers traces Paul’s journeys throughout the Middle East and on to Greece and Italy. A final page provides some key facts about Paul, but this chart should have been placed at the front of the volume to aid readers’ understanding of the main text. Paul’s arguably most famous words—from I Corinthians—serve as the conclusion to the final chapter, but there is no clear reference to the specific chapter and verse. The most glaring omission is the lack of a chart of the Bible books that are attributed to Paul; only a vague reference indicates that Paul’s letters are found in the New Testament. (Religion. 8-12)

Pub Date: March 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-0-8254-7906-9

Page Count: 48

Publisher: HarperBlessings/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Jan. 23, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2010

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DAYS OF AWE

STORIES FOR ROSH HASHANAH AND YOM KIPPUR

Three well-crafted retellings focus on the pillars of the Jewish High Holidays: charity, prayer, and repentance. A samovar left with Rivka by the prophet Elijah begins to shine as she performs her ordinary acts of charity; she and her husband realize that their good fortune is a blessing that allows them to help others. A shepherd's simple but heartfelt prayers are silenced by a scholar who deplores their informality, but God sends an angel to show the shepherd that his prayers resound in Heaven. A famed rabbi unthinkingly offends a beggar who then refuses to forgive him; the rabbi's gentle daughter convinces the beggar that forgiveness will lift his burden of bitterness. Weaving these universal tales about approaches to God with just a few, well-chosen words, Kimmel deftly uses wise but humble characters to convey his message and sets them in various locales: a shtetl, C¢rdoba in Moorish Spain, the Holy Land. The characters' simple lives are effectively depicted in Weihs's folk-inspired art, though there are some discrepancies between the details and text. A fine addition to the body of Jewish folklore. Introduction on the significance of the High Holidays; notes to the stories. (Folklore. 8-12)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1991

ISBN: 0-670-82772-X

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 1991

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A useful if occasionally preachy introduction, this book would benefit from the inclusion of more specific details,...

FAITH

FIVE RELIGIONS AND WHAT THEY SHARE

To encourage tolerance, the photographer/authors want to help children understand similarities among Buddhism, Hinduism, Christianity, Islam and Judaism.

The authors assume readers will be people of faith, not atheists or agnostics. After short descriptions of each religion, common themes, such as the Golden Rule, spiritual leaders, sacred texts, clothing, symbols, places of worship, worship acts (use of incense, candles, water, and prayer), charity and cherishing children are explored. The text can be very specific, mentioning branches of Judaism (Orthodox, Conservative, Reform and Reconstructionist) without explaining the differences. (Sunni and Shiite Muslims are not delineated.) Activities will help children, teachers and parents think about religion in a comparative manner, although no sources or further reading are provided, which is a glaring omission. The attractive photos are often cropped into circular or curvilinear shapes and presented on brightly colored pages, giving the book the look of a magazine. Identified by religion but not by country, the photos were taken in the United States and eight other nations, including Mexico, Turkey and Vietnam. Interestingly, Israel and India, seemingly obvious choices, are not included. Captions would have been helpful for some photos such as a picture of a Muslim boy in a distinctive white cape and jeweled hat, which remains unexplained in the text.

A useful if occasionally preachy introduction, this book would benefit from the inclusion of more specific details, including holidays and eating customs. (glossary, index) (Nonfiction. 8-11)

Pub Date: March 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-1-55453-750-1

Page Count: 36

Publisher: Kids Can

Review Posted Online: Feb. 5, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2012

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