Grace and joy for all ages and almost any faith.



A gorgeous visual paean to the natural world that reflects and echoes the prayer it accompanies.

Beloved author Paterson “reimagines” Francis of Assisi’s “Canticle of the Creatures” in crystalline language. “For this life and the life to come, we sing our praise to you, / O Lord, the Father and Mother of all creation.” The song starts with Brother Sun and Sister Moon, Brother Air and Sister Water, and leads on to thanksgiving for Sister Earth and Brother Fire, through praise for those who can forgive, comfort for those who suffer, courage for those who make peace. There is praise for Sister Death, acknowledging fear but recognizing her as part of love “for this life and the life to come.” Dalton’s extraordinary images, made with papercuts and watercolor lain on a black background, have the same stately rhythm, repetition and beauty as the text. Borders of fruit branches, flowers and leaves set off the text and the center frame, which is in two or three lines of images like a medieval panel painting or a contemporary sequential tale. A farmer plows and reaps, children play and work. Exquisitely rendered butterflies and oxen, sunflowers and apples, wheat and bread make the world vivid, present and lovely.

Grace and joy for all ages and almost any faith. (author’s, editor’s and illustrator’s notes, “Canticle” translated by Bill Barrett) (Picture book/religion. 5-10)

Pub Date: May 4, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-8118-7734-3

Page Count: 36

Publisher: Handprint/Chronicle

Review Posted Online: April 5, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2011

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A lively introduction to the work of a Hebrew language scholar and lover—and his family.



The ancient Hebrew language enters the modern world.

In 1885 Jerusalem, a young boy named Ben-Zion cannot converse with the polyglot children of his age because his father has decreed that he speak only Hebrew, “the first child in more than two thousand years” to do so. The father, Eliezer Ben-Yehuda, is a Zionist immigrant to Palestine and fervently believes that Jews from every country, speaking so many different languages, should return to the language of their ancestors and of Jewish Scripture. Ben-Zion is not popular in the neighborhood; some consider Hebrew a holy tongue to be used only in prayer. The father persists and finds that he needs to invent words to modernize the ancient language. Thus, by combining the Hebrew words for “wheel” and for “a pair of” he creates a word for bicycle. Ben-Yehuda’s work leads to a network of schools, a dictionary, and the eventual designation of Hebrew in 1948 as the national language of Israel. Michelson’s account, based on history, is presented as a story with invented dialogue, which he addresses in his author’s note. Gudeon’s digitized watercolor illustrations, full of children, are lively and feature Hebrew words and letters as part of the page design.

A lively introduction to the work of a Hebrew language scholar and lover—and his family. (afterword, further reading) (Picture book. 7-10)

Pub Date: Feb. 21, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-58089-636-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Charlesbridge

Review Posted Online: Dec. 6, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2016

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This will serve well in both religious and nonreligious settings for fall curriculum support.


The annual harvest from farm to table is explored with a religious perspective, focusing on Christian harvest traditions and the Jewish celebration of Sukkot.

Crisp color photography highlights children in scenes of farming and the harvesting of fruits and vegetables. The book features several instructive points about the variety of produce available, the harvest concept and sharing. Finally, it covers two different yet corresponding religious ways to observe the harvest and thank God. Church-based harvest festivals are illustrated by the decorating of a church with various breads, wheat stalks and baskets of food. Sukkot is shown with the building and decorating of a Sukkah and how this symbol of a shelter or hut relates to the ancient Jewish celebration. An informative and eye-catching design on glossy paper offers a large, multicolored print, the majority of text blocks in black against soft pale backgrounds, with key words in bold blue; these are repeated in a vocabulary border at the bottom of each page. The text is largely framed in questions, encouraging personal response and discussion. The simplicity and functionality of the book’s premise is enhanced with an addendum of teaching suggestions for specific pages and more detailed background information about the concepts presented.

This will serve well in both religious and nonreligious settings for fall curriculum support. (websites, index) (Informational picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: May 1, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-237-54373-0

Page Count: 26

Publisher: Evans/Trafalgar

Review Posted Online: March 3, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2014

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