EXODUS by Miriam--Adapt. Chaikin
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A vigorous, somewhat condensed retelling of the stories associated with Moses and the Exodus from Egypt to the Promised Land, informed by the most familiar versions (Jewish Publication Society, King James, etc.) and illustrated in earth tones with powerful figures that have the solidity of sculpture. Chaikin, 1985 winner of the Sydney Taylor Award, has authored many excellent books with Jewish themes. Her text is clear and straightforward, retaining the flavor and most important events of the originals; although Mikolaycak's double-spreads seem to fill the pages, the solid columns of text add up to substantial length. Mikolaycak has illustrated several Biblical stories in similar style, but this one is outstanding. His serious tone and heroic figures are especially suited to Moses' story; he contrasts the richly ornamented but lightly clad Egyptians to the austerely robed Hebrews with dramatic effect. Like Michaelangelo, this artist uses the human figure as the essential element in his paintings, although there are some interesting artifacts among his background details. A red-brown border gives visual continuity from page to page; the frequent invasion of the border, as well as bleeding the picture off the page, by the large, foreground figures that dominate the illustrations, draws the viewer into the picture to an unusual extent. Somber and reverent, a striking rendition of one of the world's most important books.

Pub Date: April 15th, 1987
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Holiday House