With energy and verve, Chaikin (Children's Bible Stories, 1993, etc.) retells stories about God, angels, and the creation of the world, taken from the Midrashim and other Jewish lore, from Genesis up to the sacrifice of Abraham. God is the very anthropomorphic one of the Old Testament, with feelings, regrets, and, occasionally, anger; the tales are peopled with angels who act as messengers to humankind. Chaikin names the angels Michael and Raziel as female, and tells readers about the female voice of God, the Shekinah. In the creation story, Adam and Eve are made from the dust of earth--not Eve from Adam--and other original touches abound: Satan cannot cry, for tears are a gift from God; the phoenix rises from its own ashes as a gift for its kindness on Noah's ark. Frampton's woodcut illustrations recall amber and stained glass, making memorable stories that, with their rhythm and sense of mystery, have universal appeal.