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IBLIS by Shulamith Levey Oppenheim


adapted by Shulamith Levey Oppenheim & illustrated by Ed Young

Age Range: 4 & up

Pub Date: April 1st, 1994
ISBN: 0-15-238016-7
Publisher: Harcourt

 A retelling of the Fall, based on an Islamic version dating from the ninth century. The angel Ridwan has guarded Paradise against Iblis (Satan) for 500 years. When Iblis tries to corrupt the peacock by promising to save him from old age and death, the bird refuses but sends him ``Eve's favorite companion,'' the serpent, who shudders at the evil in Iblis's face but succumbs to his persuasion. Concealed as a mote of dust in the serpent's teeth, Iblis is carried into Paradise; swearing blasphemously by his Creator's name, he persuades Eve to eat of the forbidden ``wheat tree.'' The story ends with the expulsion; Iblis is condemned to eternal torment and the peacock deprived of his fine voice. Oppenheim's clean, melodious retelling is stunningly complemented by sweeping spreads in sumptuous pastels and watercolors. Two complex meldings of the serpent's head with a woman's face are intriguingly ambivalent; otherwise, Young captures the story's emotional resonance in simple impressionistic images and luminous color, exploring his palette's nuances from magenta and sunlight yellow to midnight's dark hues. A beautiful and powerful offering. (Nonfiction/Picture book. 4+)night's dark hues. A beautiful and powerful offering. (Nonfiction/Picture book. 4+)