THE STORY OF JONAH by Kurt--Adapt. Baumann


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A Swiss version of the Old Testament favorite, retold simply for middle-grade readers or for reading aloud. The illustrations are the most important part of this book, as the artist's name on the spine attests. Reed's somewhat flat, heavy style reflects her work in textile design; it is reminiscent of Hutton's Jonah and the Big Fish. The pictures fit the story well, presenting both the ancient world with its costume, architecture and flat perspective, and a landscape that looks much like the modern Middle East. This makes a nice mixture of foreign and familiar. The use of color and light is also effective, ranging from dark storm scenes to the bright, sun-bleached colors of the desert. The text is slightly stilted, perhaps from translation, but fits the formality of the Bible story. In spite of the heavy tone, there are numerous details that make the book en-joyable, such as the useful items found inside the whale (like Geppetto's whale in Pinocchio). A handsome book, from an interesting new artist. Although not immediately accessible for young children, it is worth purchasing for any serious picture-book collection.

Pub Date: March 1st, 1987
Publisher: North. South--dist. by Henry Holt