I wasn't sure how to review this, which is why I left it for so long. The book read pretty much like it was taken straight from the Gospels, with a fe...moreI wasn't sure how to review this, which is why I left it for so long. The book read pretty much like it was taken straight from the Gospels, with a few crucial changes. The basic premise is that Mary gave birth to not just Jesus, but also a twin brother named Christ. Despite the title, Jesus is the rascally one growing up, and it is Christ who saves him from trouble all the time. It is Christ who comes up with the idea of a church, but Jesus doesn't think it should work like that. Christ is the one who hears the voice of God, not Jesus. But Jesus is the chosen one, the one everyone calls "King of the Jews". I can't give away too much plot or else ruin the story. But suffice it to say, that Jesus's rant in the Garden of Gethsemane the night before he dies actually makes a lot of sense. I'm sure there are a lot of people out there who won't read this book because they think it is blasphemous, but as the author himself said in 2010 after someone asked if the book was offensive: "It was a shocking thing to say and I knew it was a shocking thing to say. But no one has the right to live without being shocked. No one has the right to spend their life without being offended. Nobody has to read this book. Nobody has to pick it up. Nobody has to open it. And if you open it and read it, you don't have to like it. And if you read it and you dislike it, you don't have to remain silent about it. You can write to me, you can complain about it, you can write to the publisher, you can write to the papers, you can write your own book. You can do all those things, but there your rights stop. No one has the right to stop me writing this book. No one has the right to stop it being published, or bought, or sold or read. That's all I have to say on that subject."
I'm always on the lookout for Bible picture books to read to the kids in the Nursery and my son. It was interesting to find out that Katherine Paterso...moreI'm always on the lookout for Bible picture books to read to the kids in the Nursery and my son. It was interesting to find out that Katherine Paterson was a missionary for four years, as well as being married to a minister and the child of missionaries before she became a writer, especially as her book "Bridge to Terabithia" has caused so much controversy for its subject matter. Anyways, the book is basically a well-done summary of the life of Jesus from conception to his death. The book is greatly enhanced by the gorgeous paintings of Francois Roca, who actually makes Jesus and the rest of the people in the book look like the area they came from and not lily-white like most stories like to portray him. Recommended for ages 3-8, 4 stars. (less)
I rather liked this book, which was about growing up, doing the right thing no matter what everyone else says, religion and yes evolution. The only bi...moreI rather liked this book, which was about growing up, doing the right thing no matter what everyone else says, religion and yes evolution. The only big thing I didn't like with this book is that they didn't tell you the "horrible" thing the main character did until the middle of the book, I guess to keep you in suspense. Then it turns out she did the right thing, though everyone thinks it's so wrong and that's how she becomes a total outcast in the beginning of the book. I liked her teacher's view of God and Science though, I thought it was well explained and I agreed with it. Can't decide if I could write a whole paper on this book though, like I was planning to for my upcoming YA materials class. We'll see what the other books are like. (less)
So at first I thought this book was just going to a memoir/travel book documenting a families return to Iran after living there three decades before a...moreSo at first I thought this book was just going to a memoir/travel book documenting a families return to Iran after living there three decades before and the search for a family friend, but it has a bit of Near Eastern/Iranian history and religion in it as well. It is a fascinating read and I love learning about the history of a region that I'm traveling to, either in person or through a good book such as this one. Fabulous book, I highly recommend it. (less)
The text, taken directly from the Book of Genesis of the King James Bible, is quoted at the top of the pages. The story tells about how God wanted to...moreThe text, taken directly from the Book of Genesis of the King James Bible, is quoted at the top of the pages. The story tells about how God wanted to punish mankind but spared Noah and his family, as long as they built an ark to house two of every kind of animal/insect in the world. Paintings completely circle the text, then it is followed by several two page full-color spreads of incredible detail. The paintings are a mix of tempera, watercolor and pencil on watercolor paper. The back of the book features a blurb about the author and the story. I think my favorite illustration is of the building of the ark itself. Recommended for ages 3-7, 4 stars. (less)
I had never heard of this story before. I found out it was a 1990 Caldecott Honor book, so I picked up a copy. It was a bit too long for my son, but I...moreI had never heard of this story before. I found out it was a 1990 Caldecott Honor book, so I picked up a copy. It was a bit too long for my son, but I read it to him anyways. According to this website (http://www.rambles.net/kimmel_hershel...), "Eric Kimmel uses the Yiddish folk trickster character Hershel of Ostropol (Hershel Ostropolier) to tell his story."
In the book, Hershel happens upon a village who is not allowed to celebrate Hanukkah because of the goblins that infest the old synagogue in town. Hershel uses his wits to outsmart the goblins and their terrible king and bring happiness and the celebration of Hanukkah back to the village. Trina Schart Hyman once again dazzles us with her amazing detailed illustrations, especially in her use of dark and light and the creation of the many faces of the goblins. As another reviewer pointed out here (http://betweenthesepages.wordpress.co...), this book is a "A great story about standing up for your religious beliefs; it picks up the theme of overcoming adversity that is present throughout the history of Judiasm."
Kimmel's story first appeared in "Cricket, The Magazine for Children." When I first read it, I immediately thought about the fairy tale "The Brave Little Tailor" because of the trick Hershel did with the egg in the beginning of the story. I love the fact that the book translates most excellently to theater, especially with puppet shows. Highly recommended for ages 5-10, 5 stars. (less)
I picked this book up after finding it on my local library's booklist for children. I had never seen it before and since I've started a list of Biblic...moreI picked this book up after finding it on my local library's booklist for children. I had never seen it before and since I've started a list of Biblical picture books, this one was a great (though different from your regular Bible story). Naamah (pronounced Na-ah-mah or Nay-ah-mah) is Noah's wife and in the book she sings the entire ark to sleep, using a ghazal, which is a form of Arabic poetry dating back to the seventh century. In the author's note, Bartoletti says "I hope that this lullaby inspires readers to trust in the darkness, as Naamah did." Like I have said before in other reviews, I normally don't like collage, but I think Holly Meade did a fantastic job with these illustrations, especially the black/white/grey ones. Even my son liked the illustrations. Recommended for ages 1-5, 4 stars. (less)
This book won the very first Caldecott Award in 1938. Despite the fact that it is not an actual story, just direct quotes from the King James Bible co...moreThis book won the very first Caldecott Award in 1938. Despite the fact that it is not an actual story, just direct quotes from the King James Bible concerning animals, it is actually a pretty good book solely because of the illustrations. Dorothy Pulis Lathrop, who began illustrating children's books in 1919 and continued into the 1960s, did these gorgeous black and white drawings of the animals from the Bible. For more examples of her illustrations, check out this website: http://50watts.com/Forgotten-Illustra... Recommended for ages 5-10, 3 stars. (less)
I totally think this book should've won the Caldecott Award in 1967, instead of a Caldecott Honor. Of course, I'm a bit biased because I think "Sam, B...moreI totally think this book should've won the Caldecott Award in 1967, instead of a Caldecott Honor. Of course, I'm a bit biased because I think "Sam, Bangs, and Moonshine" is one of the worst children's books ever written/illustrated. This book was way better illustrated, with beautiful whimsical woodcuts and pages in bright happy colors. The story is based off an African-American spiritual on Noah's Ark, and the song is included with music in the back of the book. Recommended for ages 2-7, 4 stars. (less)
I never really knew the story of Esther so I figured getting a children's picture book would be one of the easiest ways to find out the story. Well th...moreI never really knew the story of Esther so I figured getting a children's picture book would be one of the easiest ways to find out the story. Well that and I'm trying to find more books to put on my Biblical Children's Book list. The story is basically this: The King of Persia (called Ahasuerus in the Bible but in actuality it is Xerxes) has banished his wife for refusing to dance, and a few months later, he is lonely. So his advisors look for a woman to replace the queen. Esther is a beautiful young Jewish woman who lives with her cousin Mordecai. She is soon found by soldiers and brought to the palace. She lives in the harem with the rest of the young women brought to see the king, and one day she meets him and she is named Queen. Mordecai stops a plot to kill the king. Now Hamen, was the king's vizier and he demands that people bow down to him. Everyone but Mordecai does because he will not bow before another human, only God. Hamen vows to kill all the Jews because of this, and Mordecai finds out and tells Esther to talk to the King. So she does and saves not only Mordecai but all the Jewish people as well, so now Jews celebrate this victory in a celebration called Purim.
Now I enjoyed the overall story, but I didn't like the way the author dumbed down the story because it was meant for children. You can always use the correct words (like harem instead of "special house" or vizier instead of "prime minister") and have an index in the back of the book or put definitions in the book. The illustrations were really good too, and helped to put the story at a child's level. I would recommend this book for ages 7-10, 3 stars. (less)
This book won a 1947 Caldecott Honor award, and that is the reason for me checking it out. Apparently the author made a point of creating songbooks ab...moreThis book won a 1947 Caldecott Honor award, and that is the reason for me checking it out. Apparently the author made a point of creating songbooks about famous composers, and these hymns are no exception. It is interesting that she includes a story about the composer and why they wrote the song. I had heard of some of the songs. Once again Marjorie Torrey's illustrations make a boring book better, but I preferred the illustrations for "Sing Mother Goose" more than this. Recommended for ages 7+, 2 stars. (less)