Simple Gifts: A Shaker Hymn
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Simple Gifts: A Shaker Hymn

3.69 of 5 stars 3.69  ·  rating details  ·  32 ratings  ·  8 reviews
Simple Gifts is one of the very few hymns that all Americans treasure. In churches, at graduation and wedding ceremonies, on concert and ballet stages, and especially in homes and schools, it is a perennial favorite.

Now the acclaimed and ever-innovative artist Chris Raschka has transformed this treasured Shaker hymn into a lavish picture book.

In Raschka's hands an irresi...more
Paperback, 32 pages
Published September 15th 2001 by Henry Holt and Co. (BYR) (first published 1998)
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Dolly
Feb 11, 2010 Dolly rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
Thanks to Raffi, I'd heard this song many times before, so it was simple to sing along while we looked at the pages. I think it is much easier to understand the book if you know the tune (and the music is printed at the end for those who can read music.) We had fun singing the song several times and pointing out the creatures we could find in the mostly abstract artwork. I also really enjoyed the explanation about the Shakers at the end of the book; it really gives more context and meaning to th...more
Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
I like the song, but I really disliked the illustrations. I'm not overly fond of Chris Raschka (though I do like his Yo? Yes! and Ring! Yo?) to begin with, but these illustrations were bold and confused, so that, in some pictures, I could barely make out what was being depicted. They didn't seem to fit the mood of the song at all, and didn't seem to illustrate it either. Disappointing.
Samantha
A picture book representation of the well-known Shaker hymn. Oil crayon illustrations in an earth tone palette take readers into the heart of the poem and then step back for a big picture view. Inspiring and followed with a note by the author this is a unique book for PreK-2.
elissa
I've used the book/tape combination at storytimes (mostly in baby/toddler storytime). I love both the song and the illustrations. Raschka is defnitely one of my very favorite illustrators. 4 1/2 stars. I love the Raffi version of this beautiful song, too.
Kate
I love this song, but found the heavy illustrations not really keeping with the theme of the song. Plus, the rabbits nose really bothered me. I usually enjoy Raschka's art, but this one didn't overwhelm me.
Jennifer
My girls and I love this hymn. We enjoy singing the tune together and looking at the bright animal illustrations. I'm not sure how, however, if the illustrations match the context of the song.
Kaethe
I like the hymn okay, but the book didn't make much of an impression
Peacegal
I enjoyed the bold artwork.
Trey Veazey
Trey Veazey marked it as to-read
Jun 24, 2014
Kim R
Kim R added it
Mar 13, 2014
Guen
Guen marked it as to-read
Mar 09, 2014
Sophie
Sophie marked it as to-read
Mar 21, 2013
Kim
Kim added it
Oct 22, 2012
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"I always try to treat the book itself as the artwork," Chris Raschka says. "I don't want you to stop while you're reading one of my books and say, 'Oh! What a gorgeous illustration!' I want you to stop at the end of the book and say, 'This is a good book.' "

Chris Raschka is one of those people who knew from an early age what he wanted to be when he grew up. "It was never a question in my mind,"...more
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