All Things Bright and Beautiful

Overview

All things bright and beautiful; all creatures great and small; all things wise and wonderful, the incredible Ashley Bryan illustrates them all!

An illustrated version of the well-known hymn, which describes the marvels of God's creation.

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Overview

All things bright and beautiful; all creatures great and small; all things wise and wonderful, the incredible Ashley Bryan illustrates them all!

An illustrated version of the well-known hymn, which describes the marvels of God's creation.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Bryan’s artwork is at its best in this interpretation of the title’s famous hymn, written by nineteenthcentury Irish poet Cecil Alexander to a seventeenth-century melody. The bright, swirling, colored-paper collage images focus on earth’s creatures, in the sea, on land, and in the sky, as well as on the connections between them. The images come to a climax in a gorgeous, double-page spread of two young girls, one black, one white, celebrating who they are and what they see in the world: children, flowers, mountains, trees, stars, the moon, and the sun. Using the musical score printed on the last page, grown-ups can sing along as they share the book with young kids, who will want to point to the small details in every scene even as they absorb the sweeping sense of the interconnected world. From deep-sea views of a whale and fish to soaring scenes of a purple mountaintop, the rainbow theme is constant and extends to pictures of an arch that fills the sky and beams that glow from the open pages of a book. On other spreads, children of all races celebrate sunset and morning, the winter wind and summer sun, and lush gardens, with the words that God almighty made them all. A beautiful celebration of the elemental creation story. — Hazel Rochman, BOOKLIST, March 1, 2010, STAR

Bryan elevates a beloved hymn to new heights in this joyful treatment of Alexander’s classic song. This hymn has been interpreted by artists such as Anna Vojtech (NorthSouth, 2006), Bruce Whatley (HarperCollins, 2001), and others, but Bryan’s multicultural celebration of God and creation bursts with originality and contemporary appeal. Cut-paper collages in cheerful hues depict scenes of people, animals, and nature. Each illustration holds its own, as there are no weak links here. Opening with a sunburst Ferris wheel full of adults and children of many nations and ending with the multicolored hands of the Creator reaching down from the sky, the artist has created a masterpiece in which art and text work together. Bryan includes images of his mother’s scissors (which he now uses) on the endpapers, along with an illustrator’s note and musical notation. This is a memorable interpretation that’s rich in color and detail.SLJ, April 1, 2010

School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2—Bryan elevates a beloved hymn to new heights in this joyful treatment of Alexander's classic song. This hymn has been interpreted by artists such as Anna Vojtech (NorthSouth, 2006), Bruce Whatley (HarperCollins, 2001), and others, but Bryan's multicultural celebration of God and creation bursts with originality and contemporary appeal. Cut-paper collages in cheerful hues depict scenes of people, animals, and nature. Each illustration holds its own, as there are no weak links here. Opening with a sunburst Ferris wheel full of adults and children of many nations and ending with the multicolored hands of the Creator reaching down from the sky, the artist has created a masterpiece in which art and text work together. Bryan includes images of his mother's scissors (which he now uses) on the endpapers, along with an illustrator's note and musical notation. This is a memorable interpretation that's rich in color and detail.—Lisa Glasscock, Columbine Public Library, Littleton, CO
Kristi Jemtegaard
…the portraits of the natural world overflow with vitality, beauty and strength. Bright and beautiful, wise and wonderful, indeed.
—The Washington Post
Publishers Weekly
Five-time Coretta Scott King Award–winner Bryan (Let It Shine) interprets Cecil F. Alexander’s 19th-century hymn with cut-paper art defined by swirling geometrical shapes in neon hues, contributing to a pervasively jubilant atmosphere. Every spread is a riot of colors, movement, and natural splendors: a gray whale that recalls Haida artwork is the centerpiece of one of the “All creatures great and small,” scenes. In another, a rainbow presides over rushing waterfalls and rivers that flow from “purple-headed” mountains amid small villages. Bryan notes that he created the artwork using his late mother’s embroidery scissors, which are pictured on the endpapers, lending a personal dimension; a biographical sketch of Alexander and musical notation are also included. The hymn’s traditional roots are exquisitely juxtaposed against Bryan’s global and contemporary scope (skin tones that range from deep brown to taupe are all seen in the hands of a creator, which reach down from the heavens beneath the line, “All things wise and wonderful: The Lord God made them all”). Bryan taps into the hymn’s celebratory nature to produce a triumphal vision of creation. Ages 2–5. (Jan.)
Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
Alexander's well-known hymn celebrating the wonders of our earth is the frame Bryan has chosen upon which to build this tribute. On the end pages he pictures his mother's sewing scissors, which he has used to make the collages that overflow the double page spreads with vibrant colors and varied shapes in striking designs. The second page, "all creatures GREAT and small," is typical of the abundance of good feelings as swarms of fish cavort amid the undulating streams of water. Other pages interpret the poetic lines with geometric buildings set in mountain valleys; choirs of children sing praises of God with open mouths; all manner of objects, flowers, fruits, birds, visually interact in peaceful harmony and implied movement. Information on Alexander and the sheet music of the song complete the stunning book. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781416989394
  • Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers
  • Publication date: 1/5/2010
  • Pages: 40
  • Sales rank: 371,215
  • Age range: 2 - 5 Years
  • Product dimensions: 10.20 (w) x 11.70 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Ashley Bryan grew up to the sound of his mother singing from morning to night, and he has shared the joy of song with children ever since. A beloved illustrator, he has been the recipient of the Coretta Scott King—Virginia Hamilton Lifetime Achievement Award and the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award; he has also been a May Hill Arbuthnot lecturer, a Coretta Scott King Award winner, and the recipient of countless other awards and recognitions. He lives in Islesford, one of the Cranberry Isles off the coast of Maine, where he can often be found with a cluster of children, all singing.

Cecil Frances Humphreys Alexander (1818-1895) was an Irish hymn writer and poetess. Born in Dublin, Ireland in the 1800’s, she first began writing verse when she was a little girl. Mrs. Alexander would eventually write over 400 hymns and many poems. The welfare of children was deeply important to her. She donated the proceeds from her book Hymns for Little Children from which All Things Bright and Beautiful comes, to help build and maintain a school for children who were deaf or mute. In addition to All Things Bright and Beautiful Mrs. Alexander’s hymn There is a Green Hill Far Away and the Christmas carol Once in Royal David’s City are sung and celebrated all around the world.

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