The Life of Jesus

Overview

This exquisitely beautiful book by Mary Billingsley presents the rosary for children, but I might add — for children of all ages. When I first saw a few of the paintings, I wondered if it was wise to portray Christ, Our Lady, and the other participants in the drama of the rosary as puppet or manikin figures. But the idea very much grew on me and, as I now see the final outcome of Mary's work, I'm completely captivated. This is a rosary book for young and old.
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Overview

This exquisitely beautiful book by Mary Billingsley presents the rosary for children, but I might add — for children of all ages. When I first saw a few of the paintings, I wondered if it was wise to portray Christ, Our Lady, and the other participants in the drama of the rosary as puppet or manikin figures. But the idea very much grew on me and, as I now see the final outcome of Mary's work, I'm completely captivated. This is a rosary book for young and old.
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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Carlee Hallman
The five luminous mysteries added in 2002 by Pope John Paul II are included along with the traditional fifteen joyful, sorrowful, and glorious mysteries in the life of Jesus and Mary. The five prayers used in the rosary are printed at the beginning of the book. The book continues with The Annunciation and The First Joyful Mystery. Each mystery begins with Our Father, part of the story of Jesus' life, and is followed by a Hail Mary. Passages adapted from scripture are interspersed among the meditations before the Hail Marys. Full-page, colored pictures of puppets are arranged in Swiss-like dioramas for each of the mysteries. Dressmaker, clothespin, and soft puppets appear among other varieties. In the illustration for The Third Luminous Mystery: Healing of the Sick, Jesus is shown with many kinds of dolls, such as a baby doll, Topsy, and Raggedy Ann. A short history of the development of the rosary is found at the back. A forward by Fr. Benedict J. Groeschel, a professor of pastoral psychology, suggests all ages will enjoy this book. Reviewer: Carlee Hallman
School Library Journal
Gr 3 Up—Billingsley has divided this book according to the four "Mysteries" that are emblematic of Christ's life—"Joyful," "Luminous," "Sorrowful," and "Glorious," and then into subsections about each of its five parts. The book is remarkable in the accessibility it offers to readers of all ages. The introductory page provides visual instruction—a painting of a rosary with labels and arrows indicating which beads are meant for each prayer—followed by the prayers themselves. Each Mystery is presented on a full page with a short narrative centered on white space, followed below by the name of the next recited prayer in italics. This flows to the next narrative piece and the prayer that follows it. The language is especially chosen to clarify biblical verbiage often misconstrued by children. Each left-hand facing page shows a full-color illustration of the Mystery. Billingsley's unusual technique is what stands out; she has created "shrines" of everyday objects, flowers, puppets, children's toys arranged in a vignette, and then reproduced them in gouache. The overall effect is child-friendly but also intensely emotionally evocative. Other rosary guides for children are useful and come in more "pew friendly" formats; this book adds elements that enhance the meditative and contemplative demands of the rosary devotion.—Lisa Egly Lehmuller, St. Patrick's Catholic School, Charlotte, NC
Publishers Weekly
Artist and children’s book newcomer Billingsley provides an introduction to the rosary in an accessible volume. Outlining the basic procedure for praying the rosary, an opening illustration depicts a set of beads labeled to indicate which prayer each represents; the full text of each prayer appears on the facing page. Billingsley offers brief, plainspoken meditations for each of the 20 mysteries (Joyful, Sorrowful, Glorious, and the recently added Luminous); her Scripture-inspired words appear between the names of the prayers, forming a sort of vertical, visual chain of text on each page. Billingsley’s folk art–style illustrations are two-dimensional renderings of multimedia, still-life structures she has created from found objects (nutcrackers, wooden artists’ figures, and rag dolls make appearances). The artwork alternately recalls altars, shrines, or marionette stages, and focuses on such events as the Nativity, the Marriage at Cana, and the Crucifixion. Billingsley’s text and art create a surprising and enlightening modern juxtaposition to this very traditional practice. All ages. (Feb.)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780802853622
  • Publisher: Eerdmans, William B. Publishing Company
  • Publication date: 2/1/2010
  • Pages: 56
  • Sales rank: 762,483
  • Age range: 7 - 10 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.20 (w) x 11.30 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Mary Billingsley is a traditional artist. This is her first book. She studied Fine Arts at both Washington Univeristy and Syracuse University. She has been awardered the C. Comstock Clayton Award for Painting. She lives in Killingworth, CT and she is married with two sons.
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