In the beginning, the world was created one day at a time, according to the Creation story of the Jewish tradition.
Day by day, employing simple, descriptive, accessible language, Helfand and Zager describe the first seven days of our world. The first five days are each recounted in a double-page spread, a four-line stanza in aabb verse followed by the mantra “and there was evening and there was morning” with an appropriate description of the particular day, whether it be peaceful or noisy or lively. Day Six is described in three sets of verses, being the day on which a plethora of living things is added to those created on Day Five. Preceding the seventh day there is a quotation from the siddur, the Jewish liturgy, which describes the completion of God’s work. Therefore the seventh day is not numbered but named Shabbat, the holy day of rest. Zager’s imaginative, distinctive illustrations are composed from images created from Hebrew letters that reflect the words of each verse and are so intricately designed as to demand close, careful, and repeated perusal. The book is aimed at young Jewish readers, especially those who are studying or already know their “aleph-bet,” able to read Hebrew. But there is definite appeal across religions and culture in the format, concept, and construction of the work. A picture glossary provides a key to the illustrations and the Hebrew words they are derived from.
Soaring, uplifting, and utterly beautiful. (Picture book/religion. 5-10)