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HE’S GOT THE WHOLE WORLD IN HIS HANDS by Kadir Nelson Kirkus Star

HE’S GOT THE WHOLE WORLD IN HIS HANDS

adapted by Kadir Nelson, illustrated by Kadir Nelson

Age Range: 5 - 7

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2005
ISBN: 0-8037-2850-6
Publisher: Dial

Nelson uses the old spiritual—offered here, astonishingly, in its first singleton, illustrated edition, though it’s available in many collections—as a springboard to celebrate family togetherness. Each line of a four-verse version of the lyric captions an intimate scene of an African-American lad, three sibs (one, lighter-skinned, perhaps adopted) and two parents in various combinations, posing together in both city (San Francisco) and country settings, sharing “the moon and the stars,” “the wind and the clouds,” “the oceans and the seas,” and so on. Sandwiched between views of, more or less, the whole world, Nelson alternates finished paintings in his characteristic strong, bold style with authentically childlike crayon drawings done with his left hand—demonstrating a superb ability to evoke both grand and naïve effects. Moving, reverent, spiritual indeed. (musical arrangement to close) (Picture book. 5-7)