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WHEN GOD GAVE US WORDS by Sandy Eisenberg Sasso


by Sandy Eisenberg Sasso ; illustrated by Darcy Day Zoells

Pub Date: Sept. 18th, 2018
ISBN: 978-1-947888-01-2
Publisher: Flyaway Books

When God gives language to people, the angels strongly object, convinced “people will not know what to do with words.”

Angels believe words belong exclusively to them, but God hopes people will use words to “make something beautiful.” God fills sacks with words (including “long, difficult words,” “silly words,” and hard-to-spell words) and sends the angels to “put words into the mouths of all the people.” When angels complain some words are too difficult to understand or spell, God creates dictionaries and spelling lists. People begin using words, combining them into sentences. However, as people turn words into lies, curses, and gossip, God worries the angels may have been right. Then God hears people using words to create songs, poetry, jokes, prayers, and stories that even the angels love. Conveyed in a tone reminiscent of the Genesis Creation story, Sasso’s intangible ideas take root in Zoells' delicate pencil lines and soft watercolors rendered with artful naiveté. God appears as the sun, luminous in red, orange, yellow, and blue concentric circles, while angels are represented as smaller, multicolored, spiky orbs. After God’s gift of words, light and energy infuse the previously dull landscape with colorful scenes of people of many races laughing, singing, telling stories, dancing, and praying.

The gift of language becomes relevant and real in this original tale.

(Picture book. 3-8)