Next book


The artistic starting point for the luminous illustrations in Spirin’s latest exploration of biblical texts is a large tempera painting incorporating scenes from the key events in the life of Christ. This painting, reproduced on a single page at the front of the oversized volume, uses an architectural arrangement with each scene serving as a room or floor of a castle-like structure. The ensuing full-page illustrations are excerpted from the larger painting, as are smaller vignettes of key characters framed within arches on the cover and endpapers. Each illustration is presented with a different format of surrounding pillars, archways or stonework relating to the architectural theme. The elegant paintings are filled with exquisite details in costumes and settings, accented with his signature use of golden highlights that convey a Renaissance flavor. While both the overall design and the illustrations are artistically stunning, the use of the King James Version of the biblical texts and the formal composition of the illustrations are not child-friendly, making this of most interest to adult collectors. (Religion/picture book. 7-10)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-0-7614-5630-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Marshall Cavendish

Review Posted Online: June 20, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2010

Next book



This book of seasonal prayers, inspired by Saint Francis of Assisi’s “Canticle of Brother Sun,” and also indebted to Gaelic scholar Alexander Carmichel’s work, can be summed up by a portion of the prayer for November: “Contained in every/season’s end:/the blessing to begin again.” Springtime’s “Sing praise” gives way to summer’s “Rejoice!” and then to harvest time’s “Give Thanks” before winter’s “Be Blest” appears in the encircled prayer that faces each month’s watercolor illustration. The realistic paintings reflect the annual cycle, becoming almost iconographic in the evidence in each of the gifts of the season. These are “God’s good gifts” that in January, for example, are the seeds shaken from dead plants and weeds and the leaf buds on barren branches. The puzzle of the cycle of life springing from death moves on many levels; also appearing in January are predator (fox) and prey (deer). The simple yet sturdy spirituality informing this book will assure its place in both individual and institutional collections that have room for religious titles. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-689-80546-2

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 1999

Next book



While Josephine Poole and Angela Barrett’s Joan of Arc (1998) focused on Joan as a saint, this spirited but reverent telling emphasizes Joan as a hero. In the little village of DomrÇmy, Joan did not learn to read or write, but she listened to stories of the saints’ great deeds, worked with her parents, and aided the sick. When St. Michael the Archangel first appeared to her in a great light, she was 13; he told her she would save France, and the people supported her, outfitting her with horse and armor, and a white banner with the golden lilies that symbolized the French king. All the highlights of Joan’s story are elegantly recounted here: her recognition of the king hidden in the crowd, her victory at OrlÇans, Charles’s coronation, her capture, abandonment, trial, and death by burning at the stake. Rayevsky’s drypoint and etching illustrations use the muted colors and sepia backgrounds of old prints; the simple, sinuous line and stylized faces are particularly evocative. His visual trope of a flowerlike flame in the fireplace of Joan’s home is startlingly recreated in the final image of Joan at the stake. (Picture book/biography. 6-10)

Pub Date: Sept. 15, 1999

ISBN: 0-8234-1424-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Holiday House

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 1999

Close Quickview