O JERUSALEM by Jane Yolen


by , illustrated by
Age Range: 9 - 13
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In honor of Jerusalem's upcoming 3000th anniversary, Yolen (Here There Be Witches, 1995, etc.) offers a series of poetic meditations on its history, people, and symbolic meaning. In a tone that is reverent throughout, she gives Muslim, Christian, and Jewish traditions equal time, visiting landmarks, describing customs, and explaining in prose notes the references in each preceding poem. Thompson (the McKissacks's Christmas in the Big House, Christmas in the Quarters, 1994), using warm golds and browns applied in complex textures, creates spread-filling acrylics that range from impressionistic views of towering clouds to a larger-than-life, carefully detailed pilgrim's hand gathering a few pinches of earth from the Mount of Olives. Two potentially confusing notes: In a poem about the nine "measures of beauty" God gave the city, readers may count more than nine; in the poem titled "Jerusalem 3000," the number refers not to the city's anniversary but to the (Christian) year 3000, when the city and the world might, finally, be at peace. That's a fairly gloomy forecast if readers accept the number literally and not as a typographical error. Otherwise, this is an uplifting companion to Karla Kuskin's Jerusalem, Shining Still (1987). (Poetry. 9-13)

Pub Date: April 1st, 1996
ISBN: 0-590-48426-5
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Blue Sky/Scholastic
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1st, 1996


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