David and Goliathby Beatrice Schenk de Regniers, Scott Cameron
The biblical tale of the young shepherd who uses a slingshot to do battle with a giant and eventually becomes a king.
School Library JournalK-Gr 3Splendid new illustrations give de Regniers's 1965 retelling (Viking, o.p.) of the well-known Bible story drama and depth. The book begins with youthful David being tossed about and teased by his older brothers, who are leaving to fight in King Saul's army. David wants desperately to accompany them but is considered much too young. He goes off into the pastures to tend his father's sheep with his shepherd's crook, harp, and slingshot; contemplates the wonders of God and the world; and bravely dispatches both a lion and a bear with his simple weapon, as well as, later, the giant Goliath. There is a classic fairy-tale quality to this story that has kept it fresh and exciting through the centuries. The reteller has embellished it just enough to make a smoothly flowing narrative while remaining true to the Biblical accounts drawn from I Samuel, I and II Chronicles, and Psalms. Her language is dignified but not formal and reads aloud well. The text is set upon vigorous double-page spreads done in luminous, textured oils, and the action is viewed from a variety of perspectives. The wild beasts and giant are truly fearsome; and David, a slight, blond youth set among dark, muscular men, is both heroic and contemplative.Patricia Pearl Dole, formerly at First Presbyterian School, Martinsville, VA
Carolyn PhelanDe Regniers retells the biblical story of David and Goliath to good effect. When his six older brothers leave to join King Saul's army, young David yearns to join them, but he must stay home to tend the sheep and keep his father company. After slaying a lion and a bear that have attacked his flock, David goes to Saul and offers to fight the mighty Goliath. This picture book climaxes with David slaying Goliath, but it ends with King David looking back on his days as a shepherd boy and singing "a song of remembering and rejoicing." An appended author's note relates the background of the story. Making good use of light, shadow, and perspective, the beautifully composed oil paintings bring scenes of emotional and physical drama to life. A satisfying picture-book version of the story.
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