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Creation
     

Creation

5.0 1
by Gerald McDermott
 

In the beginning there was nothing, only darkness. Then came light, water, earth, sun, moon, and stars. Creatures swam in the sea, crawled in the grass, and moved over the land. Man and Woman were created to be the keepers of this beauty. All this was a gift to them. Rich in color, shapes, and textures, Gerald McDermott's meditation on the creation story from

Overview

In the beginning there was nothing, only darkness. Then came light, water, earth, sun, moon, and stars. Creatures swam in the sea, crawled in the grass, and moved over the land. Man and Woman were created to be the keepers of this beauty. All this was a gift to them. Rich in color, shapes, and textures, Gerald McDermott's meditation on the creation story from Genesis is a gift to readers of all ages. Parents, educators, and art collectors will welcome this glorious celebration of the creative spirit and of life itself.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Caldecott Medalist McDermott (Arrow to the Sun) melds echoes of Genesis and other sources with his own poetic imagery for a lyrical, mystical Creation tale told in the first person; as he puts it in an author's note, "The voice of the story is an inner one... a spark ignited within us all." That narrative voice begins, "I was before time. I was everywhere. I was nothing. I was there. My spirit moved over the deep. I floated in darkness." Simple, restrained and elegaic, the text accompanies a stunning series of color-saturated, densely textured gesso and fabric paintings that play out on dramatic black backdrops. McDermott visually tracks the arc of Creation via the gradual introduction of pigment on the pages, beginning with neutral shades of gray, on through aquas and mossy greens for the sea and the earth, and intensifying the compositions with swirls of orange and plum and yellow and blue for the sun and stars ("I put shining lights in heaven"), then reds and emerald and browns added for the birds and beasts. Fluid shapes take form at the same time, with the circle of earth repeated in rounded swirls and graceful lines that underpin the dreamy visual images. Masterfully executed, this will kindle and fuel much thought. Ages 5-up. (Sept.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
Quietly ecumenical, this story of creation draws on Genesis but with an eye toward its antecedents. Beginning with "I was before time. I was everywhere" the text proceeds through the familiar separation of the dark and the day, the mists, gathering of the seas out of which were brought the earth and all that grows, the heavens and all within, and between, the birds, fish, and animals, "with man and woman to care for them." The ending painting features a small baby-shape on an elegant black double page spread and the text, "I am all this. All this I am." Texture of the paintings resemble paper handmade of mulberry-bark but is created with gesso on fabric. They evoke with richly hued swirls, shapes, and sweeps the enormity of creation while suggesting some of the specificity in animals and plants. Black used as background and judiciously as shading lends drama and resonance to the simple, evocative text, all in all, a beautiful and colorful melding of pictures and flowing but spare text. 2003, Dutton, Ages 4 to 10.
—Susan Hepler, Ph.D.
School Library Journal
Gr 3 Up-Citing Genesis as well as other diverse sources as his inspiration, McDermott brings forth a sweeping and spellbinding version of the creation story. The poetic text is both intimate and mythical, while the spectacular paintings swirl with light-infused colors to portray the diversity and vibrancy of life. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Decades of turning myth into gorgeously imaged picture books culminates in McDermott's powerful rendering of the creation story. He boldly speaks in the voice of the Creator: "I was before time. I was everywhere. . . . Then I breathed light into the dark." The drumbeat of creation goes on, dividing the mists "sweet and salt" and bringing the earth out of the sea, lights in the heavens to mark the seasons, birds and fish, animals moving over the earth, and man and woman. The language, rooted not only in Genesis of the Hebrew Bible but in a muscular familiarity with many other creation myths, thunders and rolls in perfect counterpoint to the astonishing images. Inspired, he says in an author's note, by Japanese hand-made mulberry-bark papers, he uses gesso, fabric, and paint to create strongly textured surfaces both beautifully abstract and utterly concrete. The sun fills a page and spills over to the next; the blue moon is surrounded by a halo of stars; below both, an arc of growing things from palm frond to frozen branch marks the turn of time. Accessible to small children but resonant enough for older ones, reverent and magnificent. (Picture book/nonfiction. 4-10)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780525469056
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
10/27/2003
Pages:
32
Product dimensions:
11.80(w) x 12.00(h) x 0.43(d)
Age Range:
5 - 8 Years

Related Subjects

Meet the Author

Gerald McDermott (www.geraldmcdermott.com) is a three-time Caldecott medalist and a Joseph Campbell Foundation Fellow. His most recent book is Jabuti the Tortoise: A Trickster Tale from the Amazon.

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Creation 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
JoeVP More than 1 year ago
This book is a treasure in our library and will be for generations. The story, though simply written, emits the life as intended fabulously. The exuberantly illustrated artwork cannot be duplicated. It has a life all it's own matching the beauty of the text. It can and should be read to all your children and your grandchildren alike for generations to come.