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MY FATHER’S HOUSE by Kathi Appelt


by Kathi Appelt & illustrated by Raúl Colón

Age Range: 4 - 8

Pub Date: May 1st, 2007
ISBN: 978-0-670-03669-1
Publisher: Viking

A familiar Bible verse from the Book of John (“in my Father’s house are many mansions”) serves as the inspiration for this rhyming text expressing thanks for the wonders of the natural world. This traditional wording is followed throughout the text, with thanks offered to “the Father” without further reference to God. Successive verses describe the beauty and inhabitants of various environments: ocean, tundra, woodland, prairie, rain forest, marsh, desert, mountains and space. Some of the verses succeed as lovely descriptive poetry, but others have ending rhymes that don’t quite work, particularly in the concluding verse. Children will need an adult’s help to understand the symbolic meaning of “mansions” in this context, as well as explanation of a few metaphors, such as porches on mountains or painted kitchen walls in the desert environment. Expressive illustrations in colored pencil and watercolor use a technique mimicking scratchboard, which is attractively echoed in colored background surrounding the text blocks. Colón’s illustrations include people of different ethnic groups and a flowing, surrealistic interpretation of planets, stars and imaginary mansions floating under a rainbow canopy. (Picture book/religion. 4-8)