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A brief but thorough introduction to a complex subject. (Religion. 5-10)

The story of the life of Jesus is retold for school-age children using a small, attractive format that will be popular for the gift market.

This thoughtful retelling of the major events of Jesus’ life uses contemporary language based on the Good News Bible. The book is arranged as a series of very short stories, with each event succinctly summarized, usually in one or two pages. Each story has its own title, with the relevant Bible chapter and verses noted below. The type size is rather small, and the volume size itself is also small, so this would be best shared by an adult with one child or read individually by older children rather than shared with a group. The shortened, British version of the Lord’s Prayer is used in the text. Both full-page and spot illustrations in muted tones are integrated into each story, providing details of the time and place and keeping the interest level high through a wide variety of design formats. Brief introductory and concluding notes help to place the biblical stories in historical and geographical context, and the final page is a map showing the area where Jesus lived.

A brief but thorough introduction to a complex subject. (Religion. 5-10)

Pub Date: June 1, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-7459-6367-9

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Lion/Trafalgar

Review Posted Online: April 13, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2013

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This British import offers an eclectic approach to biblical stories and history with panoramic, detailed illustrations, colorful maps and sidebars with “travel tips” geared to travelers of the time period. The organizational strategy consists of 20 journeys stretching from the time of creation as portrayed in the Bible to the era of the early Christians. Key characters are introduced in terms of their journeys to new lands or their returns to homelands. Each spread includes some text, spot illustrations and a larger illustration filled with people of the era, including details of their work, homes and clothing. Helpful labels and explanatory sentences are worked into the text, giving the reader lots to look at on every spread. The maps are a useful feature, often showing the same area on multiple pages, but with different names as the occupying groups changed. Most of the key characters, main stories and major locations described in the Bible are presented, giving a fairly comprehensive introduction to a complex subject. There are no correlations to relevant Bible verses, and although there is an index, it references journey numbers rather than page numbers with no indication of this, rendering it frustrating, baffling and useless for people unable to intuit this distinction. Though the pages seem crowded at first glance, a considerable amount of information is packed into a short volume, and the explanations of complicated history will be useful to adults teaching Bible history and interesting to young readers. (Picture book/religion. 6-10)

Pub Date: April 15, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-7459-6088-3

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Lion/Trafalgar

Review Posted Online: March 8, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2011

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Grace and joy for all ages and almost any faith.

A gorgeous visual paean to the natural world that reflects and echoes the prayer it accompanies.

Beloved author Paterson “reimagines” Francis of Assisi’s “Canticle of the Creatures” in crystalline language. “For this life and the life to come, we sing our praise to you, / O Lord, the Father and Mother of all creation.” The song starts with Brother Sun and Sister Moon, Brother Air and Sister Water, and leads on to thanksgiving for Sister Earth and Brother Fire, through praise for those who can forgive, comfort for those who suffer, courage for those who make peace. There is praise for Sister Death, acknowledging fear but recognizing her as part of love “for this life and the life to come.” Dalton’s extraordinary images, made with papercuts and watercolor lain on a black background, have the same stately rhythm, repetition and beauty as the text. Borders of fruit branches, flowers and leaves set off the text and the center frame, which is in two or three lines of images like a medieval panel painting or a contemporary sequential tale. A farmer plows and reaps, children play and work. Exquisitely rendered butterflies and oxen, sunflowers and apples, wheat and bread make the world vivid, present and lovely.

Grace and joy for all ages and almost any faith. (author’s, editor’s and illustrator’s notes, “Canticle” translated by Bill Barrett) (Picture book/religion. 5-10)

Pub Date: May 4, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-8118-7734-3

Page Count: 36

Publisher: Handprint/Chronicle

Review Posted Online: April 5, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2011

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