Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Long ago, an argument arose between mountains and rivers, stars and ants, lions and bears on the nature of God. A terrible cacophony of quarreling voices rang out until wise Old Turtle quelled the din, explaining that ``God is all that we dream of, and all that we seek. . .all that we come from and all that we can find.'' But soon disagreement was heard again as the world's people raised voice and fist against each other, harming the natural order. Illustrated in exquisite watercolors, this eloquent plea for unity and understanding between people and nature is both frank and understated. Chee captures the mysterious beauty of the world in pastels imbued with quiet energy, complementing the lilting cadence of the poetic text. Certainly both author and artist have combined rare talents to produce an enchanting book, yet one that is barely accessible to a child. Difficult ideas, painterly art and sophisticated language make this a book primarily for adults. All ages. (Dec.)
Children's Literature - Dr. Judy Rowen
This lyrical, haunting book tackles a complex subject - who is God, and what is man's place on earth? According to the author, people are "a message of love from God to the earth and a prayer from the earth back to God." It is a gentle cautionary tale about our place in the world and the responsibilities that entails. The watercolors are evocative and powerful, the style clearly influenced by the illustrator's Asian heritage. The description of God as "all that we dream of, and all that we seek" can serve as a springboard for discussion within families from any religious background. American Booksellers Book of the Year Award, Best Children's Book -Midwest Independent Publishers Association, and International Reading Association Children's Book Award.
Children's Literature - Judy Silverman
This is an inspiring look at God's presence and attributes. A very long time ago, when all the animals, the mountains, sky, trees, and waters could talk to each other, an argument began over God. Old Turtle stopped the argument, and told the Earth that a new creature was about to come into the picture-people. People came, and for a while everything was fine, but soon they forgot about caring for the Earth and for each other, and the Earth began to die. Suddenly a voice (sounding suspiciously like Old Turtle's) sounded-"Please stop!" And the destruction did stop. The Earth once again lived in harmony and balance. "And Old Turtle smiled... and so did God." A touching book.
School Library Journal
PreS Up-- In a mythic time when all living things could speak and understand each other, an argument begins over the nature of God. Each creature attributes its own ideal of excellence to the deity, but when the discussion grows too loud, all are silenced by Old Turtle. He says that God is all those things and more, referring to the coming of those made in His image, people. But these new creatures also argue about God, and kill and abuse each other and the Earth until the very stones cry out. At last the people hear Earth's message of beauty and love--``And Old Turtle smiled. And so did God.'' The pictures illustrating this poetic work are spectacular. Soft, liquid watercolors are used to show the beauty of the natural world; rocks and waterfalls, mountains, seas, and flowering hills form a backdrop for everyone. Environmentally conscious, gender-balanced (references to God include ``She''), and spiritual in mood, this is a New Age fable; its message of saving the Earth is told in lyrical prose and in pictures that delight the eye.-- Shirley Wilton, Ocean County College, Toms River, NJ