This appealing interpretation will be useful in Protestant families and church settings as well as in larger library...

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OUR FATHER

First published in Germany, this interpretation of the Protestant Lord’s Prayer offers line-by-line commentary on the prayer Jesus taught his followers.

The introduction poses some existential questions about the meaning of life and understanding the concepts of God, Jesus, and prayer. The Lord’s Prayer is introduced in its entirety, and then each phrase is explained in a page of text set in large type with an accompanying full-page illustration. The analysis is poetically phrased in a calm, even soothing tone, using both metaphorical phrases and concrete images to expand and illuminate the phrasing of the classic prayer. The concluding spread offers an alternative version of the prayer in simpler, more contemporary language. Mixed-media illustrations in acrylics and paper collage add another layer of interpretation, showing contemporary children and adults of many ethnic groups. The surrealistic illustrations, reminiscent of the work of Marc Chagall, are filled with dreamlike imagery that relates to the explanatory text, sometimes directly and sometimes in ways that are open to interpretation. In imaginative creations filled with motion, pages float out of a Bible, a girl flies into the sky on horseback, and a boy clings to his own planet surrounded by soaring birds and an ocean of sea creatures. Other illustrations are more realistic, yet there is always an element suggesting the unreal, such as the fish swimming across a grassy hill in the cover illustration.

This appealing interpretation will be useful in Protestant families and church settings as well as in larger library collections. (Religion/picture book. 5-10)

Pub Date: April 13, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-8028-5468-1

Page Count: 58

Publisher: Eerdmans

Review Posted Online: Feb. 17, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2016

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A lively introduction to the work of a Hebrew language scholar and lover—and his family.

THE LANGUAGE OF ANGELS

A STORY ABOUT THE REINVENTION OF HEBREW

The ancient Hebrew language enters the modern world.

In 1885 Jerusalem, a young boy named Ben-Zion cannot converse with the polyglot children of his age because his father has decreed that he speak only Hebrew, “the first child in more than two thousand years” to do so. The father, Eliezer Ben-Yehuda, is a Zionist immigrant to Palestine and fervently believes that Jews from every country, speaking so many different languages, should return to the language of their ancestors and of Jewish Scripture. Ben-Zion is not popular in the neighborhood; some consider Hebrew a holy tongue to be used only in prayer. The father persists and finds that he needs to invent words to modernize the ancient language. Thus, by combining the Hebrew words for “wheel” and for “a pair of” he creates a word for bicycle. Ben-Yehuda’s work leads to a network of schools, a dictionary, and the eventual designation of Hebrew in 1948 as the national language of Israel. Michelson’s account, based on history, is presented as a story with invented dialogue, which he addresses in his author’s note. Gudeon’s digitized watercolor illustrations, full of children, are lively and feature Hebrew words and letters as part of the page design.

A lively introduction to the work of a Hebrew language scholar and lover—and his family. (afterword, further reading) (Picture book. 7-10)

Pub Date: Feb. 21, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-58089-636-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Charlesbridge

Review Posted Online: Dec. 6, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2016

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This will serve well in both religious and nonreligious settings for fall curriculum support.

CELEBRATING HARVEST

The annual harvest from farm to table is explored with a religious perspective, focusing on Christian harvest traditions and the Jewish celebration of Sukkot.

Crisp color photography highlights children in scenes of farming and the harvesting of fruits and vegetables. The book features several instructive points about the variety of produce available, the harvest concept and sharing. Finally, it covers two different yet corresponding religious ways to observe the harvest and thank God. Church-based harvest festivals are illustrated by the decorating of a church with various breads, wheat stalks and baskets of food. Sukkot is shown with the building and decorating of a Sukkah and how this symbol of a shelter or hut relates to the ancient Jewish celebration. An informative and eye-catching design on glossy paper offers a large, multicolored print, the majority of text blocks in black against soft pale backgrounds, with key words in bold blue; these are repeated in a vocabulary border at the bottom of each page. The text is largely framed in questions, encouraging personal response and discussion. The simplicity and functionality of the book’s premise is enhanced with an addendum of teaching suggestions for specific pages and more detailed background information about the concepts presented.

This will serve well in both religious and nonreligious settings for fall curriculum support. (websites, index) (Informational picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: May 1, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-237-54373-0

Page Count: 26

Publisher: Evans/Trafalgar

Review Posted Online: March 3, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2014

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