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Philip and Brent (Noah and the Devil, 2001, etc.) collaborate again to offer a lovely collection of prayers. Brent’s exquisite hand illustrates this beautiful, small volume in the manner of medieval manuscripts. Finding its audience might be problematic, however. Philip, an indefatigable editor of anthologies for young people, has gathered selections from many religions and cultures, and divided them loosely into seven sections, each with its own border design. On facing pages, for example, are prayers from the Talmud, English and Breton traditions, and 19th-century Irish. They are all very short, and sometimes abbreviated, as in the Prayer of St. Francis of Assisi, where only the first half appears. Some, for English speakers, are deeply familiar: “Thank you for the world so sweet, / Thank you for the food we eat”; or Dickens’s “God bless us every one!” Others seem scarcely to be prayers, like “Star light, star bright . . . I wish I may, I wish I might, / Have the wish I wish tonight.” Still others, not so well-known, come from Hindu and Muslim traditions, from Africa, from Hawaii, from various Native American peoples. Gorgeous illuminations border each page with tendrils of flora, birds, fruit, flowers, and lavish use of gold. A lovely gift (Nonfiction. 7-11)

Pub Date: March 24, 2003

ISBN: 0-618-23481-0

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Clarion Books

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2003

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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

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In this retelling of a medieval French tale, a starving young acrobat, PÇquelÇ, is allowed to join a Franciscan community only if he promises to give up performing. When he breaks his promise, in order to comfort a plague-stricken infant, a sculpted angel comes to life and bears him away. Although the illustrator frames most of his darkly elaborate illustrations within stone archways decorated with floral designs or grotesques, PÇquelÇ often flies beyond the visual borders, flinging out arms and legs in abandon. His joy is contagious; readers moved by the story’s Italian cousin, retold in Tomie dePaola’s Clown of God (1978), will also respond to this more formal, polished rendition. (Picture book/folklore. 7-9)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-399-22918-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 1999

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