Let There Be Light

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Overview

“In the very beginning, God’s love bubbled over when there was nothing else—no trees, no birds, no animals, no sky, no sea—only darkness.”

Let There Be Light combines the love and warmth of Nobel Peace Prize Winner Archbishop Desmond Tutu with the extraordinary talents of bestselling author and illustrator Nancy Tillman. This retelling of the biblical story of creation vividly portrays the wonder and beauty of God’s creation on each of the seven days. Using Archbishop Tutu’s lyrical text from the Children of God ...

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Overview

“In the very beginning, God’s love bubbled over when there was nothing else—no trees, no birds, no animals, no sky, no sea—only darkness.”

Let There Be Light combines the love and warmth of Nobel Peace Prize Winner Archbishop Desmond Tutu with the extraordinary talents of bestselling author and illustrator Nancy Tillman. This retelling of the biblical story of creation vividly portrays the wonder and beauty of God’s creation on each of the seven days. Using Archbishop Tutu’s lyrical text from the Children of God Storybook Bible and Tillman’s remarkable illustrations, Let There Be Light brings the story of creation to life for readers young and old.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble

"In the very beginning, God's love bubbled over when there was nothing else—no trees, no birds, no animals, no sky, no sea—only darkness." Desmond Tutu's retelling of the Genesis creation story holds the power to reach children as no theologian could. This attractive new version features artwork by award-winning illustrator Nancy Tillman (I Know You Anywhere, My Love; On the Night You Were Born). A sublime message delivered sweetly.

Publishers Weekly
12/23/2013
Drawing text from Tutu's 2010 Children of God Storybook Bible, Tillman (On the Night You Were Born) imagines a cosmos called into being by a humanlike entity suffused with lights and clouds. The illustrator's luminous, photorealistic style adds an intriguing edge to Tutu's friendly theology. When he writes that "the first flower opened in all its glory," Tillman zooms in on a daffodil with delicately veined petals and a cup filled with the almost blinding radiance of God; a reference to the creation of "cats and mice" on the sixth day inspires a painting of a lion and white mice that has the physicality of a museum diorama. As is often the case in books of this genre, the appearance of humans is something of a letdown: multicultural children are shown wearing glowing crowns and what appears to be a combination of native dress and Sunday School pageant costumes. Tutu is more original and eloquent: "I will make people, and I'll make them like me so they can enjoy the earth and take care of it." Ages 4–8. (Jan.)
Children's Literature - Barbara L. Talcroft
Desmond Tutu—archbishop, Nobel Peace Prize—winner (1984), and author—brings the biblical creation tale from the Old Testament to children of today in text taken from his Children of God Storybook Bible and quotations from The Holy Bible, New International Version. This creator is a god of love, who smiles and admires the pristine and beautiful Earth he calls into being. Tutu adds descriptive words like “sparkling,” “joyous,” and “wonderful” to spark the imagination of young readers and envisions the god of creation clapping his hands in delight, laughing, and enjoying “his glorious creation.” Each day of the process occupies at least one horizontal spread (sometimes more), picturing clouds, waves, stars, trees, birds and animals, and finally, people. The humans, appropriately for this audience, are children of many hues wearing bright robes and glittering crowns; each is accompanied by a baby animal, or fruit, flowers, and butterflies. Illustrations are drenched in saturated color; especially striking are the contrast of day and night, scarlet birds taking off, and a deep blue nighttime scene showing a huge pale lion, tiny mice, and the moon. The artist, creator of On the Night You Were Born (Feiwel & Friends, 2010) and The Wonder of You (Feiwel & Friends, 2008), has adopted as her mission letting children know “You are loved” and those words, indeed, appear on the final page. Tutu’s lyrical interpretation might also serve as an introduction to the more austere version found in the King James translation of the Old Testament’s Genesis. This attractive book would make a lovely present for a Christian or Jewish child and an appropriate addition to a collection of world creation myths. Reviewer: Barbara L. Talcroft; Ages 4 to 8.
School Library Journal
03/01/2014
PreS-Gr 4—Archbishop Tutu's version of the creation story first appeared in his Children of God Storybook Bible (Zonderkids, 2010). The retelling of the first chapter of Genesis is both accessible and poetic, with the emphasis being on God's love. Tillman, best known for her "You Are Loved" trilogy (Feiwel and Friends), brings her signature style to the digitally rendered illustrations. The colors are bright yet misty, with no sharp edges or lines to be found, resulting in a dream-like atmosphere. Her renderings of wild animals are particularly well executed, and a keen observer will find images hiding in clouds. When people appear, they all wear crowns, a conceit that Tillman employed in The Crown on Your Head (Feiwel & Friends, 2011) that may prove puzzling to those unfamiliar with the earlier work. It's a lovely book, suitable for larger collections where religious material is in high demand.—Grace Oliff, Ann Blanche Smith School, Hillsdale, NJ
Kirkus Reviews
2013-11-02
Abstract washes of light give way to equally lambent peaceable-kingdom scenes to illustrate Tutu's rhapsodic retelling of the Bible creation story. Drawn from his Children of God Storybook Bible (2010), the author's simply phrased text highlights God's love—which "bubbled over when there was nothing else"—as the motivating force behind each day's acts of creation. The indistinct shape of a robed, standing figure can be discerned within the initial burst of radiance and also in later illustrations amid clouds and waves, at the heart of a flower and in the subtly modulated colors of various skies. Along with showers of sparkles in some scenes, Tillman recycles a visual element from her own The Crown on Your Head (2011) by clapping shiny crowns atop the heads of a racially diverse group of smiling children in the final illustrations. Further piling on the sentimentality, she transforms the magnificent, exactly detailed elephants, lions and other animals that pose grandly in earlier pictures to toylike figures at the children's feet. "Isn't it wonderful!" concludes God, clapping his hands. Yes, but here the wonder comes with a generous coating of goo. (Religion/picture book. 6-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780310733966
  • Publisher: Zonderkidz
  • Publication date: 12/2/2014
  • Pages: 30
  • Sales rank: 480,341
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 6.50 (w) x 6.50 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Archbishop Desmond Tutu was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984 for his lifelong struggle to bring equality, justice, and peace to his native country of South Africa. He is the author of numerous books including the Children of God Storybook Bible, God’s Dream, and Desmond and the Very Mean Word. From 2007 to 2013, Tutu was the founding Chair of the Elders, a group of global leaders who are working topromote the shared interests of humanity. In 2013he received the Templeton Prize for advancing spiritualprogress in the world. He lives in South Africa withhis wife, Leah. They have four children and sevengrandchildren.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 7 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 22, 2015

    I was sent another book for reviewing purposes and it just so ha

    I was sent another book for reviewing purposes and it just so happened to be a children's book.I thought it might be a good book for my six year old to read. You see, he loves to read all kinds of different books and so I'm constantly adding a few new ones every couple of weeks. No joke, this little boy has shelf after shelf filled with so many different books.
    He's just like my husband and I-he LOVES to read.
    One of the latest books that he read and really liked was a book called,
    Let There Be Light, by Archbishop Desmond Tutu. Nancy Tillman is the illustrator.
    The book is basically the Story of Creation put into words that younger children can follow and understand, along with beautiful illustrations as well.
    I handed it to my son as a Christmas gift and he ran over to our reclining chair to read it. The first thing he said was, "Thanks mom! I can't wait!" Like I said, he LOVES to read.
    He decided to read it out loud to the family. He got through the entire book and I could tell he was enjoying it. He told me that he liked the pictures inside and that the story was really good. I'm quoting him exactly.
    I'm happy he enjoyed it. I found it pretty enjoyable myself. I'd recommend this book for both children and adults.

    Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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  • Posted December 18, 2014

    Let There Be Light offers beautiful illustrations, and a simple

    Let There Be Light offers beautiful illustrations, and a simple introduction to creation. Perfect for little ones!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2014

    Let There Be Light,  is the retelling of the biblical story of t

    Let There Be Light,  is the retelling of the biblical story of the creation of our world.  
    The story walks you page by page through each of the seven days with beautiful
     illustrations  by the New York times best-selling author Nancy Tillman. The words flow
    page by page re encountering the day that God introduced the stars, the animals and the oceans
    as well as everything in between. This board book will provide quality time for children
     and parents to bond, learn and open up discussion for children age 7 and younger.
     I would say that this would make a great gift for any toddler that you have in your life.

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  • Posted March 15, 2014

    'In the very beginning, God's love bubbled over when there was n

    'In the very beginning, God's love bubbled over when there was nothing else---no trees, no birds, no animals, no sky, no sea---only darkness.' Let There Be Light by the Nobel Peace Prize Winner Archbishop Desmond Tutu is an engaging book about god creating the world. The beauty of this biblical story comes to life through the vivid images from illustrator Nancy Tillman. This beautiful book takes you through the creation over seven days, in the most enchanting way. The pictures spread light over this magnificent story. Sophia was truly captivated by the colorful pictures.
    Not only that but it’s the perfect book to bring in the home for young children being taught the word of God. Ralph and I really enjoyed this story and is a great book for all ages. It is also a hard cover…For us that was a big plus! Sophia loves to see and hold the books herself. This ensures the book has a “long life” in this house!! I highly recommend this book! Also there is a fun page in the front where you can personalize the book and add a dedication! I love when books have these; I want Sophia to know when she received the book and be able to have keepsakes for her own family one day!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 11, 2014

    God is good and all that He has made is good.  Let me tell you t

    God is good and all that He has made is good.  Let me tell you that this book, Let There Be Light, written by Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Illustrated by Nancy Tillman is certainly good.  The Creation story has been told many times in many ways, but never with such joy, acceptance, and vibrant visuals.
    The story line is obvious; a retelling of the Biblical account of the Creation of the world and all that is in it.  The descriptive words used by Desmond Tutu place us in a new world that is wondrous, dazzling, glorious, and joyous.  I love his word choice when he says, “And on the seventh day, God laughed, and rested, and enjoyed his glorious creation.”  What a wonderful image of a God who is well pleased with His Creation.
    Now don’t get me started on these illustrations.  Each page is a work of art.  Nancy Tillman captures the beauty and newness of the world and its inhabitants.  The images are bright and filled with color and light. Even the animals look like they are smiling.  There is also an overriding theme of diversity of cultures.  I was delighted by this book and honored to read both its words and images.   
    I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

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  • Posted January 8, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    Let There Be Light, written by Archbishop Desmond Tutu and illus

    Let There Be Light, written by Archbishop Desmond Tutu and illustrated by Nancy Tillman is a creation story with a multicultural twist. The most impressive and appealing aspect of this full color children's book, is that it is illustrated with detailed, full color art on every single page. The quality of the art in this book is comparable to museum quality art, in stark contrast to the quickly drawn, careless cartoon artwork that seems have become the recent standard for many children's books these day. The vibrant art contains unexpected, realistic detail as well as a modern abstract element. Though subtle, the multicultural influence of this book is evident with the focus on African animals in the artwork as well as the multicultural children wearing traditional styled clothing on the final pages.


    As far as the text- the actual story, it is a basic re-telling of the creation account in storybook form. The simple words and creation story are brought to life with vibrant adjectives to capture the attention of a young child. This book is a wonderful introduction to the creation account of the bible for any child. Right when the story is expected to end, the reader will find on the back end page a cryptic, one line message for the child: "You are loved", to reinforce the idea of God's love without actually inserting anything extraneous into the body of the creation account that was not originally included in the seven day bible account. The minimalist description on the back of the book, "you are part of something truly amazing", captures the significance of the creation account that modern society often undermines. These magical touched give the bible account of creation new appeal for young readers in a day and age where fantasy and fairy tales and Disney stories compete for the attention of youth and parents alike. As a blogger for Booksneeze I received a copy of this book published by Zondervan for the purpose of writing this review.

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  • Posted December 31, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    I read my son stories at bed time almost every night and over th

    I read my son stories at bed time almost every night and over the years I have become adapt at "picking out a winner." For me, the book needs to have a few key elements.
    First of all, it needs to have beautiful artwork or interesting pictures. Let's face it, what good is a bed time book if there's nothing to look at? Second, I don't want a ton of words to read. I am not interested in putting my son to sleep before the end of the story, I am not trying to drone him to sleep with words - so I like a book that is clear, concise and that chooses it's words carefully. And then lastly - it needs to be a good story. 

    My son has a lot of these "so what" books where nothing really happens at all. There might be a laugh or two, but in the end there is no real "a-ha moment" to be had.

    If a kid's book has great art, is to the point and has a story to tell - it's a winner in my opinion. Well, that's exactly what you get with "Let There Be Light" by Archbishop Desmond Tutu. Much of the story is pulled straight from the first week of creation from the Hebrew scriptures. Readers of the Bible will see familiar words as they tell the story of creation to their little ones.

    ...And the pictures are amazing. The illustrations beautifully capture the Spirit of God "hovering over creation" and breathing everything into life. Nancy Tillman has done some amazing art work in this book. This is surly to become a must-have on your child's reading shelf.

    Thank you to Zondervan and Zonderkidz for this preview copy in exchange for a fair and honest review.

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