ADAM AND EVE AND THE GARDEN OF EDEN

The Christian creation story is retold in simple but lyrical prose in this exquisitely illustrated interpretation full of swirling primeval ferns and stylized trees highlighted with touches of gold. God’s presence in Eden is gracefully handled in the illustrations by showing just his hands as he creates Adam from clay or his watchful eyes as Adam and Eve tend the garden and meet the serpent. Ray’s intriguing paintings reward the unhurried reader with subtle details and touches of humor; for example, a playful monkey sticking his finger into the end of Eve’s wooden flute. Many of the spreads feature intricate borders that introduce additional elements such as the earth under the garden, subtly illustrating the renewal of the life cycle, and some of the borders also incorporate symbols of creation stories from other cultures. Children who delight in highly detailed illustrations will enjoy searching the lush views of Eden packed full of every sort of creature, right down to the earthworms crawling underground. (Nonfiction. 5-9)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2005

ISBN: 0-8028-5278-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Eerdmans

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2005

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SAINT VALENTINE

The most interesting feature of this retelling of a story about a saint martyred in A.D. 270 is the art, a meticulous re- creation of the medium of its subject's period. Using thousands of tiny, rectangular pieces resembling tiles, Sabuda replicates the effect of Roman mosaics. His simple designs and harmonious, gently muted colors are pleasing, and he achieves surprising subtleties of expression, considering the intractability of the medium. Actually, the illustrations work even better from a slight distance (as with a group), so that the demarcations between the tiny pieces are less predominant. The technique, which tends to congeal the action, makes relatively undramatic illustrations; still, it's a fascinating experiment that brings the ancient world to life by paying tribute to its art rather than by picturing it in a modern style. The straightforward narrative centers on Valentine as a physician whose ointment restores the sight of a jailer's blind daughter, long the saint's friend. It's implied that the long-awaited cure takes place at the moment of his offstage death; the story ends with the joy of the child's renewed vision. An unusual and attractive rendition. Historical note. (Nonfiction/Picture book. 6-9)

Pub Date: Oct. 30, 1992

ISBN: 0-689-31762-X

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Atheneum

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 1992

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SEEK AND FIND BIBLE STORIES

In the style of Where’s Waldo?, a modern-day boy named Mike is camouflaged within busy illustrations of well-known Bible stories featuring dozens of tiny and similarly clad characters for sharp-eyed young readers to peruse. Each spread includes a large illustration filled with buildings, people and minuscule details, a brief paragraph summarizing the particular story, related questions directing the reader to find additional people or items in the illustration and a short Bible verse. The volume includes 14 stories from the Old Testament and 14 from the New, with each section followed by a more difficult quiz page with single items that can be found somewhere in any of the illustrations in that section. The busy visual depictions of the stories are chock-full of characters and tiny details, including some items that were not around in biblical times, such as helium balloons, a modern-style traffic sign and roller skates. Purists may object to a contemporary boy (and irrelevant objects) inserted into biblical scenes, but many children who seek the mental challenge of this format will find this fascinating. (Picture book/religion. 6-9)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2008

ISBN: 978-0-310-71759-1

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Zonderkidz

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2008

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