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And God Created Squash: How the World Began

And God Created Squash: How the World Began

by Martha Whitmore Hickman, Abby Levine (Editor), Giuliano Ferri (Illustrator)

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Martha Hickman's retelling of the Creation makes a familiar story as fresh and entrancing as an emerging world. Giuliano Ferri's playful paintings are inspired by wonder as he imagines a newborn earth, its varied inhabitants, and their infinitely loving Creator.


Martha Hickman's retelling of the Creation makes a familiar story as fresh and entrancing as an emerging world. Giuliano Ferri's playful paintings are inspired by wonder as he imagines a newborn earth, its varied inhabitants, and their infinitely loving Creator.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In this quietly amusing interpolation of the creation story, a childlike, mirthful God in a halcyon Garden of Eden talks himself into a magnificent world. With impish eyes surrounded by a fuzzy cloud of beard and hair, his enraptured thoughts turn, one by one, into things. Then, a peculiar infatuation, borrowed from other creation traditions, captures him: squash. ``I like that name . . . I think I'll use it again. Acorn squash. Butternut squash. Even zucchini squash. I might have a game and call it squash. Or put my hand on something and press down hard and call that squash.'' Saving the best for last, God ends by fashioning some company for himself--something, ``well, more like me.'' While some underwhelmed adults may not tune in to the fun of this rendition, children will delight in the endless naming of species and guess-what-comes-next descriptions. Glowing as if floodlit, Ferri's soft, sunny watercolor and colored pencil illustrations embody the utter beneficence, if not the omnipotence, of a God children may accept as their friend. Ages 4-8. (Mar.)
School Library Journal
K-Gr 4-- Genesis is the firm foundation of this text, but its superstructure is a fresh, lively, conversational retelling of creation. In an inspired opening, God makes the universe in a ``big breath,'' and then says, ``So far, so good!'' Light is His answer to ``something to go with the darkness,'' and plants happen when he puts his ear to the Earth and thinks, ``I'd like to hear something growing.'' When he comes up with the name ``squash,'' he likes it so much that he uses it again--and again. Finally, he wishes for ``some company.'' The answer is ``People! Men and women and boys and girls and small babies for the boys and girls to hold and sing to and help take care of . . . .'' When people in their diverse multitudes appear, he asks them to love the world, and to speak to him: ``I'll be around. You may not see me. But . . . think of me. I'll be thinking of you.'' Not cute, sentimental, or syrupy, this approach is genuine and spiritual and accessible. The stylized, decorative watercolor and colored-pencil illustrations are soft edged and gentle. That they are not so freshly imaged as the text, however, can be seen in the characterization of God: a benign old white male with a long fuzzy beard, he is cute and, alas, conventional. --Patricia Dooley, University of Washington, Seattle
Julie Corsaro
A whimsical retelling of the biblical story of the Creation. A benevolent, white-haired God delights in his creation of light and darkness, heaven and earth, and . . . squash: "Acorn squash. Butternut squash. Zucchini squash. I might have a game and call it squash." Although it's hard to compete with the lyricism of the Bible (for instance, "Be fruitful and multiply" becomes "You are to mate and produce offspring"), Hickman successfully mimics the rhythms and sequence found in the original ("So far, so good"). The fresh, stylized paintings are soft in both color and form, with stencil-like patterns that involve the eye. There's no expulsion from paradise here, just the reassuring conclusion "Think of me. I'll be thinking of you." An accessible, inventive approach to the Good Book.

Product Details

Whitman, Albert & Company
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
8.34(w) x 11.07(h) x 0.39(d)
Age Range:
4 - 9 Years

Read an Excerpt

And God Created Squash

How The World Began

By Martha Whitmore Hickman, Giuliano Ferri


Copyright © 1993 Martha Whitmore Hickman
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-0-8075-0340-9


In the beginning was God.

Nothing but God.

Then it was as though God took a deep breath ...

and held it ...

and let it go.

And there was the universe!

"So far, so good!" God said.

At first, the universe was all darkness and swirling water. No shape to anything. Nothing belonging anywhere.

God looked out over all the darkness and water. "I'd like something to go with the darkness," God said. "How about ... light?

"Good idea," God thought. And God made light.

So now there was light as well as darkness. "I'll call the light 'day,'" God said. "And I'll call the darkness 'night.' That's good," God said.

Then God said, "I'll divide the water and put some up above, for rain and snow and hail, and some down below, for oceans and lakes and rivers and ponds and puddles at the edges of sidewalks—if I decide to have sidewalks."

So there was water up above and water down below. "And in between the water above and the water below, I'll put the sky," God said.

Then God collected the water under the sky in great, deep oceans—except for a little God saved for lakes and rivers and ponds. And where the water had been was now ... land. "I'll call the land 'Earth,'" God said.

"Earth," God said again, and liked the sound of it.

God put an ear down to the earth, but there wasn't much happening. "I'd like to hear something growing," God said.


Excerpted from And God Created Squash by Martha Whitmore Hickman, Giuliano Ferri. Copyright © 1993 Martha Whitmore Hickman. Excerpted by permission of ALBERT WHITMAN & Company.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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