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LIGHT by Jane Breskin Zalben Kirkus Star


by Jane Breskin Zalben & illustrated by Jane Breskin Zalben

Age Range: 5 - 12

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2007
ISBN: 978-0-525-47827-0
Publisher: Dutton

According to an old Kabbalah legend, when God made the world, “he wanted to paint everything with a special kind of light so the world would shine with goodness.” Too powerful to be stored in a jar, the light burst forth, shattering into shards all over the globe. To make the world whole and peaceful again, God created people to help search for and find each broken piece of light. This rendition of an old midrash creation story is filled with a beautiful and simple message of hope. A peaceful coexistence is still possible for a world that is torn apart by war, hunger and blind hatred, if people look for the spark of light in everyone and everything. As in her biographical collection, Paths to Peace (2006), Zalben departs from her usual artistic style with this symbolic and elegant interpretation of the Judaic practice of “Tikun Olam,” or healing of the world. Using a combined media of paints, pencil and various household and other objects such as pieces of sand, seaweed, kasha grains, flower petals and cleansers, Zalben matches her well-crafted words with detailed and delicate collages of naturalistic plant and animal scenes and a multicultural group of dancing, joyful children surrounded by the glitter and glow of all those shards of light. Special and inspiring for all cultures. (Picture book. 5-12)