Animals of the Bible

Animals of the Bible

by Mary Hoffman, Jackie Morris
     
 

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Serpents, lions, whales, the raven, and the dove are just a few of the wily, fierce, friendly, or peace-making creatures that can be found in many Bible stories. In nine vivid retellings Mary Hoffman shows how these animals have challenged, tricked, helped, or even rescued some of the most famous Biblical figures. As in their highly praised previous collaborations,

Overview

Serpents, lions, whales, the raven, and the dove are just a few of the wily, fierce, friendly, or peace-making creatures that can be found in many Bible stories. In nine vivid retellings Mary Hoffman shows how these animals have challenged, tricked, helped, or even rescued some of the most famous Biblical figures. As in their highly praised previous collaborations, Parables and Miracles, Mary Hoffman and Jackie Morris have created another beautifully illustrated picture book that turns the complex language and stories of the Bible into accessible and enjoyable reading for a wide range of young people.

Illustrated by Jackie Morris.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
The accomplished author-illustrator team behind Parables and Miracles helps young readers enter the Old Testament via thematically linked, age-appropriate stories, this time focusing on a topic popular among children-animals. Fittingly, the book begins with Creation, as God puts all the animals into Adam and Eve's care and charges Adam with naming all creatures. With the same easy tone that has distinguished her previous works, Hoffman invites readers to envision the magnitude of Adam's task: "Can you imagine what an important job that was? Imagine seeing for the first time a tiger, a kangaroo... and a toucan, and having to come up with the right names for them." The retellings inform, entertain and create a sense of immediacy ("It was very crowded inside the ark. The big animals sometimes sat on the little ones by mistake, and the ones who had horns kept poking the ones who didn't"). Animals play only supporting roles in many narratives (e.g., Daniel in the Lions' Den, Jonah and the Whale) but they invariably take pride of place in Morris's rhythmically paced watercolors, which variously occupy side panels, three-fifths spreads or combinations of the two. While her portraits of human figures are generally sympathetic, the artist truly excels in her depictions of birds, beasts and sea creatures-they are realistic yet endowed with unmistakable grandeur. An endnote includes Hoffman's comments on her interpretations and cites the biblical sources, thus broadening the opportunities for family sharing. Ages 4-8. (Mar.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
Nine Biblical stories featuring animals are retold in simple yet lyrical prose. Provocative questions are asked which involve the reader and make this useful for sharing aloud. For example, when Adam names the animals, the page ends with "Adam was kept busy for a long time. Do you think he made good choices?" In some stories, the animals are helpful, such as when the dove brings the olive branch to Noah. In some stories, they cause mischief, as the snake in the Garden of Eden. Elijah's ravens and Daniel's lions are less well known. The earth tone water color illustrations positively glow in an appropriate other worldly fashion. This book is something of an update of Dorothy Lathrop's 1938 Caldecott Medal book of the same title. End notes direct readers to the original stories in the Bible. This is a thoughtful introduction to these Bible stories. 2003, Phyliss Fogelman books/Penguin Putnam, Ages 4 to 8.
—Micki S. Nevett
School Library Journal
K-Gr 4-Nine Old Testament stories-five of them from Genesis and most very familiar-are simply told and splendidly illustrated in this lively book. The author's affable conversational style, which is much like live storytelling, is sure to involve listeners. Beginning with "Naming the Animals," the selections flow well from one to another, and the book could easily be read as one long story. Lush, detailed watercolors in shades of brown, gray, and blue, and touches of red accompany the tales, sometimes surrounding the text and depicting all animals, even insects, with grace, dignity, and beauty. References are included at the end, along with brief explanations for a few minor changes, e.g., Jonah is swallowed by a whale rather than a big fish to make the story easier to imagine. This is a much more appealing book than Dorothy P. Lathrop and Helen D. Fish's Animals of the Bible (HarperCollins, 1998), which was a Caldecott winner in 1937, and it makes an ideal introduction to the Bible for the very young.-Susan Oliver, Tampa-Hillsborough Public Library System, FL Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Hoffman and Morris (Miracles: Wonders Jesus Worked, not reviewed, etc.) team up for their third collaboration on a Biblical theme. Their focus this time is on animals mentioned in the Bible, including the serpent from the Garden of Eden, the dove and the paired animals from Noah's ark, Daniel's lions, and Jonah's whale, as well as some lesser-known stories such as Elijah's ravens, and the frogs and "creepy-crawlies" from the plagues of Egypt. Hoffman retells the seven stories in a conversational, humorous tone in one or two pages of text that would be just the right length to read aloud for a children's sermon or Sunday school lesson. She interprets each story in her own way, creating dialogue in modern speech for God and the Biblical characters, but in so doing, making her versions more interesting and lively for young readers or listeners. Morris uses a muted palette of earthy, natural tones for her striking paintings, which are enhanced by the volume's oversized format in landscape orientation. The humans in her illustrations clearly look like residents of the Middle East, and the costumes, backgrounds, and details of the animals themselves are well-researched. Noah and his dove star on the cover, with the dove taking just flight from Noah's outstretched hands. (author's note, source notes) (Nonfiction. 4-9)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780803728424
Publisher:
Dial
Publication date:
03/10/2003
Series:
Phyllis Fogelman Bks.
Pages:
32
Product dimensions:
10.92(w) x 11.04(h) x 0.36(d)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

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