SONG OF CREATION

Caldecott Medalist Goble has created a stunning prayer of praise with his interpretation of the Benedicite from The Book of Common Prayer. The calming, repetitive text follows the same pattern throughout the work, naming all the forces of nature and many of the creatures and plants of the earth, with the same repeating refrain. (“O you stars of heaven, bless you the Lord: praise him, and magnify him forever.”) This same prayer is repeated within many illustrations in smaller type for individual creatures. Goble’s instantly recognizable illustration style is at its best, from the herd of charging wild horses on the cover to the snowy mountain on the final page. Several breathtaking spreads show an entire environment: a sky full of birds, an underwater scene with different species of fish, the Great Plains filled with hundreds of buffalo. Notes at the front of the volume indicate the sources and offer a short commentary on the religious significance of the text. (Picture book/nonfiction. 3-10)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2004

ISBN: 0-8028-5271-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Eerdmans

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2004

STAR OF FEAR, STAR OF HOPE

The thoughtless words of childhood become the focus of the narrator's haunted memories of WW II. Helen recalls the events of her ninth birthday in occupied France in 1942. Lydia, her best friend, comes over to spend the night, and they amuse themselves by telling ghost stories. When a stranger wearing a yellow star like Lydia's comes looking for a place to hide, Lydia suddenly wants to go home. Helen is angry and shouts to the departing girl that she is not her friend anymore. The next day Lydia and her family have disappeared. The simple storyline brings together a complex combination of elements—ghost stories and fights between friends who suddenly find themselves in the context of war—all of which are penetrated by an equally complex narratorial voice, capable of differentiating among subtle shades of emotion. It belongs both to the old woman telling the story and to the nine-year-old girl she was. As a result of this layering of perspective, the characters and story have depth through minimal means (sketchy details, snatches of conversation). This is even more effective in the wondrous pictures. In her first book, Kang's palette contains only browns, grays, yellows, and redsmuted colors, forming the geometric interiors of barren apartments. If the individual colors and shapes in the pictures are simple, as a whole they create an intensely expressive atmosphere. (Picture book. 7-10)

Pub Date: May 8, 1995

ISBN: 0-8027-8373-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Walker

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 1995

MOMMY'S KHIMAR

With a universal message of love and community, this book offers a beautiful representation of a too-often-overlooked...

From a debut author-and-illustrator team comes a glimpse into a young American Muslim girl’s family and community as she walks around in “Mommy’s khimar,” or headscarf.

The star of this sunny picture book is a young girl who finds joy in wearing her mother’s khimar, imagining it transforms her into a queen, a star, a mama bird, a superhero. At the core of the story is the love between the girl and her mother. The family appears to be African-American, with brown skin and textured hair. The girl’s braids and twists “form a bumpy crown” under the khimar, which smells of coconut oil and cocoa butter. Adults in her life delight in her appearance in the bright yellow khimar, including her Arabic teacher at the mosque, who calls it a “hijab,” and her grandmother, who visits after Sunday service and calls out “Sweet Jesus!” as she scoops her granddaughter into her arms. Her grandmother is, apparently, a Christian, but “We are a family and we love each other just the same.” The illustrations feature soft pastel colors with dynamic lines and gently patterned backgrounds that complement the story’s joyful tone. The words are often lyrical, and the story artfully includes many cultural details that will delight readers who share the cheerful protagonist’s culture and enlighten readers who don’t.

With a universal message of love and community, this book offers a beautiful representation of a too-often-overlooked cultural group . (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: April 3, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5344-0059-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Salaam Reads/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Feb. 2, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2018

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