GENNADY SPIRIN’S CREATION

Spirin continues his recent exploration of biblical themes with this attractive interpretation of the creation story. The volume’s striking cover shows the earth in concentric layers of animals and plants, surrounding Adam and Eve at the center. Spirin’s immediately recognizable watercolor illustrations are full of intricate details and delicate patterned elements, with each illustration formatted as a half circle or arched shape suggesting a stained-glass window. Throughout the work Spirin uses the unifying design element of small angel faces surrounded by multiple sets of patterned wings, with a different pair of angels on each page. Similar wings are seen in several illustrations of God, interpreted by Spirin as a mysterious and changing figure with human characteristics. God is depicted at first as an angelic spirit and then as a human figure with a rather scary face of white light and a long, white beard. There is no indication in the text or jacket flap copy that the creation story is from the beginning of the Book of Genesis in the Old Testament, simply that it comes from the Bible. (artist’s note, publisher’s note) (Religion. 4-8)

Pub Date: April 1, 2008

ISBN: 978-0-310-71084-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Zonderkidz

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2008

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Both a celebration of and an introduction to the mosque.

IN MY MOSQUE

Children welcome readers into different mosques to learn about varying activities and services that take place in them.

Though many different mosques and children are depicted, the voices call readers’ attention to the similarities among Muslim communities around the world. Yuksel highlights the community eating together; women, men, and children sharing the space and praying together; grandfathers thumbing their tasbihs; grandmothers reading the Quran; aunties giving hugs; children playing. The effect is to demonstrate that a mosque is more than just a building but rather a space where children and adults come together to pray, give, learn, and play. Joyful characters describe what happens in simple, poetic language: “In my mosque, the muezzin’s call to prayer echoes in the air. I stand shoulder to shoulder with my friends, linked like one long chain.” Aly’s bright illustrations pair well with Yuksel’s words, ending with a beautiful spread of children staring at readers, waving and extending their hands: “You are welcome in my mosque.” The variety of mosques included suggests that each has its own unique architecture, but repeating geometric patterns and shapes underscore that there are similarities too. The author’s note guides readers to her website for more information on the mosques depicted; they are not labeled, which is frustrating since the backmatter also includes a tantalizing list of famous mosques on every continent except Antarctica.

Both a celebration of and an introduction to the mosque. (glossary, sources) (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: March 23, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-06-297870-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Jan. 13, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2021

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HE'S GOT THE WHOLE WORLD IN HIS HANDS

Nelson uses the old spiritual—offered here, astonishingly, in its first singleton, illustrated edition, though it’s available in many collections—as a springboard to celebrate family togetherness. Each line of a four-verse version of the lyric captions an intimate scene of an African-American lad, three sibs (one, lighter-skinned, perhaps adopted) and two parents in various combinations, posing together in both city (San Francisco) and country settings, sharing “the moon and the stars,” “the wind and the clouds,” “the oceans and the seas,” and so on. Sandwiched between views of, more or less, the whole world, Nelson alternates finished paintings in his characteristic strong, bold style with authentically childlike crayon drawings done with his left hand—demonstrating a superb ability to evoke both grand and naïve effects. Moving, reverent, spiritual indeed. (musical arrangement to close) (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2005

ISBN: 978-0-8037-2850-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2005

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