Some of Jesus’ message is here, but the focus is on selected miracles and the wonder thereof.
An “unusual Man” comes to “a dry and dusty land” needing “the kind of living water that would last forever.” When he speaks, his words burst into teeming flights of butterflies, lightning bolts, monumental wood and stone letters, or page-filling arrays of exclamatory display type. Again and again as disciples and others look on with awed or worried expressions, this “Miracle Man”—a skinny, light-brown, often smiling figure with a ragged black beard in the carefully detailed illustrations—works wonders. He heals the sick, walks on water, feeds the multitude from a small basket of loaves and fishes, and more. At last he announces his betrayal, then dies to rise again, amid a flutter of butterflies. (Judas only points from a distance, and Jesus is seen dragging his cross but not actually on it.) Hendrix draws from various New Testament books and versions but retells each miracle in his own words. In the interest of brevity he leaves out the Marys and other significant figures, noting this in the afterword. Katherine Paterson offers younger children a fuller version of the oft-told story in The Light of the World (2008), but the Jesus in François Roca’s pictures is less approachable than that in Hendrix’s.
Brief of text but memorably illustrated. (Picture book/religion. 5-9)