THE STORY OF NOAH AND THE ARK

Spirin’s detailed, luminous paintings provide a traditional interpretation of the familiar Old Testament story, using the old-fashioned, measured cadences of the King James Bible as the text. The elegant design includes text blocks incorporated into illustrations of God as a white-haired old man looking down from his heaven or depictions of Noah looking out of portholes in the Ark. These facing text pages utilize mirror images in the illustrated elements, subtly reinforcing the two-by-two theme. A recurring circular inset in the upper corners of the text pages includes the relevant Bible verse citations or a related illustration, such as the dove returning with an olive leaf. The pages relating the story are interspersed with wordless spreads that allow Spirin more freedom to explore the sweep of the story by showing the enormous Ark, the parade of intriguing animal pairs, and the surging waters of the flood overshadowed by black clouds. These spreads have a mysteriously dusky lighting giving them the look of old masterpieces from a long-gone era. (poster) (Picture book/nonfiction. 5-9)

Pub Date: April 1, 2004

ISBN: 0-8050-6181-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2004

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SAINT VALENTINE

The most interesting feature of this retelling of a story about a saint martyred in A.D. 270 is the art, a meticulous re- creation of the medium of its subject's period. Using thousands of tiny, rectangular pieces resembling tiles, Sabuda replicates the effect of Roman mosaics. His simple designs and harmonious, gently muted colors are pleasing, and he achieves surprising subtleties of expression, considering the intractability of the medium. Actually, the illustrations work even better from a slight distance (as with a group), so that the demarcations between the tiny pieces are less predominant. The technique, which tends to congeal the action, makes relatively undramatic illustrations; still, it's a fascinating experiment that brings the ancient world to life by paying tribute to its art rather than by picturing it in a modern style. The straightforward narrative centers on Valentine as a physician whose ointment restores the sight of a jailer's blind daughter, long the saint's friend. It's implied that the long-awaited cure takes place at the moment of his offstage death; the story ends with the joy of the child's renewed vision. An unusual and attractive rendition. Historical note. (Nonfiction/Picture book. 6-9)

Pub Date: Oct. 30, 1992

ISBN: 0-689-31762-X

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Atheneum

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 1992

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SEEK AND FIND BIBLE STORIES

In the style of Where’s Waldo?, a modern-day boy named Mike is camouflaged within busy illustrations of well-known Bible stories featuring dozens of tiny and similarly clad characters for sharp-eyed young readers to peruse. Each spread includes a large illustration filled with buildings, people and minuscule details, a brief paragraph summarizing the particular story, related questions directing the reader to find additional people or items in the illustration and a short Bible verse. The volume includes 14 stories from the Old Testament and 14 from the New, with each section followed by a more difficult quiz page with single items that can be found somewhere in any of the illustrations in that section. The busy visual depictions of the stories are chock-full of characters and tiny details, including some items that were not around in biblical times, such as helium balloons, a modern-style traffic sign and roller skates. Purists may object to a contemporary boy (and irrelevant objects) inserted into biblical scenes, but many children who seek the mental challenge of this format will find this fascinating. (Picture book/religion. 6-9)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2008

ISBN: 978-0-310-71759-1

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Zonderkidz

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2008

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