The brilliant Hans Christian Andersen Medalist, illustrator of many classic tales, presents her vision of some of the most familiar of Bible stories. Using the King James translation, Zwerger groups her stories chronologically in terms of the books of the Bible: “Stories of the Beginning,” “Stories of the Fathers and Mothers of Israel,” psalms, and prophets. Her New Testament section begins with the Christmas story and continues through the passion and resurrection, ending with Revelations. The language is familiar and stately, and most of what one might wish to find—Moses, Noah, the 23rd Psalm, the story of the loaves and fishes, the marriage at Cana—is all here. Zwerger has chosen evocation and suggestion rather than fully imagined description in her images. Adam and Eve are seen from their navels up, with Eve’s dark hair covering her bosom; the Annunciation finds a startled, barefoot virgin across the page from an obeisant and very large angel holding his halo—or is it a tambourine? Figures seem clothed in garments that come from an ancient Middle Europe or even the present day; grace notes in the form of vegetative or floral patterns often end a page. A silken green ribbon marker adds a note of solemnity. Classic Zwerger. (index of verses) (Nonfiction. 7-12)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-7358-1413-9

Page Count: 160

Publisher: NorthSouth

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2002

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Three well-crafted retellings focus on the pillars of the Jewish High Holidays: charity, prayer, and repentance. A samovar left with Rivka by the prophet Elijah begins to shine as she performs her ordinary acts of charity; she and her husband realize that their good fortune is a blessing that allows them to help others. A shepherd's simple but heartfelt prayers are silenced by a scholar who deplores their informality, but God sends an angel to show the shepherd that his prayers resound in Heaven. A famed rabbi unthinkingly offends a beggar who then refuses to forgive him; the rabbi's gentle daughter convinces the beggar that forgiveness will lift his burden of bitterness. Weaving these universal tales about approaches to God with just a few, well-chosen words, Kimmel deftly uses wise but humble characters to convey his message and sets them in various locales: a shtetl, C¢rdoba in Moorish Spain, the Holy Land. The characters' simple lives are effectively depicted in Weihs's folk-inspired art, though there are some discrepancies between the details and text. A fine addition to the body of Jewish folklore. Introduction on the significance of the High Holidays; notes to the stories. (Folklore. 8-12)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1991

ISBN: 0-670-82772-X

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 1991

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First published in 1968 and newly illustrated by Vitale, this is a history of the Christian celebration of Easter that, after briefly recounting the story of the Resurrection, links the holiday to other spring festivals, covers the ancient custom of giving the gift of an egg (a symbol of the new life of spring), and includes contemporary customs, such as the fashionable stroll down New York City's Fifth Avenue after church on that day. Also included are instructions for egg decoration and a recipe for hot cross buns. Even the recipe demonstrates the clear, informative prose of Fisher, whose expert organization leads from topic to topic. Vitale's illustrations are a marvel; each full-page picture is filled with details that reflect the times, the flora, and the culture of the era shown, colored with a range of appropriate earth tones. Every element of design makes this an inviting addition to the holiday shelf, even for those already owning the original book with Ati Forberg's illustrations. (Picture book/nonfiction. 7-10)

Pub Date: Feb. 28, 1997

ISBN: 0-06-027296-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 1996

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