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IN THE HOUSE OF HAPPINESS by Neil Philip

IN THE HOUSE OF HAPPINESS

A Book of Prayers and Praise

By Neil Philip (Editor) , Isabelle Brent (Illustrator)

Age Range: 7 - 11

Pub Date: March 24th, 2003
ISBN: 0-618-23481-0
Publisher: Clarion

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)