The Lord Is My Shepherd

Overview

The Twenty-third Psalm, one of the world's most cherished prayers, is paired with some of the most exquisite illustrations in this inspirational picture book by New York Times Best Illustrator Gennady Spirin. This never-before-created format, made from one large, magnificent painting, gives parents and children an opportunity to share the experience, making prayer time even more profound.

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Overview

The Twenty-third Psalm, one of the world's most cherished prayers, is paired with some of the most exquisite illustrations in this inspirational picture book by New York Times Best Illustrator Gennady Spirin. This never-before-created format, made from one large, magnificent painting, gives parents and children an opportunity to share the experience, making prayer time even more profound.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
AGERANGE: Ages 4 up.

Any notion of making a visual translation of a biblical psalm may be audacious. But Spirin approaches the task with reverence, drawing upon his talent to paint lush, textured, naturalistic scenes loaded with personal symbolism. The title page depicts a harp-playing king with two angels whispering in his ears. The setting is ornate, with marble pillars and a gold-encrusted garment. Each page contains a line or two of the psalm on an unrolling scroll, accompanied by a circular or square framed illustration. The first scene, however, is a double page, with sheep and a recumbent lion and a young boy playing a flute suggesting a Peaceable Kingdom. Later, on another double page, the lion is shown snarling, perhaps protecting a harp player from "mine enemies," barely seen in the corners. A final six-part foldout opposite the entire psalm puts all the illustrations together in a glorious scene, a fantastic combination almost demanding that the beholder make a personal story. The exotic architecture, elaborate floral arrangements, ancient ships, etc., all go well beyond the poetic words, suggesting a graphic narrative of their own. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz

School Library Journal

Gr 3 Up- Spirin has applied his unique artistic vision to the venerated Old Testament psalm. He isolates harmonious images from his elegant portrait of an ornately robed and turbaned dignitary, which appears at the back of the book, to illuminate each line. The harp-playing man occupies a gold and ivory temple surrounded by a sapphire sea, a sumptuous feast spread out at his feet. Other figures, including farmers reaping a field of hay and a cavalry of armored soldiers, populate the perimeter of the canvas. The imaginative and dreamlike scene features a multitude of birds, flowers, animals, soaring spires, and angels all painted in rich jewel tones. The text is presented one line at a time in a large, clear font on an image of an ornate scroll, and each accompanying illustration is framed in gold. The opening lines, "The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want," are paired with a tranquil scene of the white-robed shepherd watching over his flock while a young boy plays a wooden flute and a majestic lion lies peacefully among the sheep. The entire psalm appears on the last page, along with a fold-out reproduction of Spirin's distinctive oil painting. This sophisticated interpretation of the psalm has an ethereal, fairy-tale quality, contrasting with Barry Moser's Psalm 23 (Zonderkidz, 2008). Moser illustrates the sacred lines with shimmering watercolors of a cheerful Antiguan boy tending his flock in idyllic Caribbean landscapes. While Moser's paintings may appeal more to younger children, older readers will treasure Spirin's exquisite interpretation and enjoy locating the individual illustrations in the larger work of art.-Linda L. Walkins, Mount Saint Joseph Academy,Brighton, MA

Kirkus Reviews
Spirin continues his series of illustrated Bible stories with this individualistic and somewhat mysterious interpretation of the beloved Twenty-Third Psalm. The familiar words of the psalm are artfully set on parchment scrolls stretched across the bottom of the pages in an elegant design. Spirin's intricately detailed oil paintings use scenes and images from the life of King David, thought to be the author of many of the Psalms. The cover and the first spread show an image of the young David as a shepherd boy, tending lambs playing peaceably next to a regal lion, while the title page and a later spread show a mature King David seated on his throne with his harp, surrounded by angels. The richly colored oil paintings are infused with Spirin's signature golden light, complemented by the volume's gold endpapers and the title's gold lettering. The final page is a fold-out poster revealing a large painting; all the illustrations in the volume are smaller images from this larger work. Though the religious symbolism in the illustrations will be familiar to many, other symbols and images are less certain, and an illustrator's note of explanation would have made the volume more accessible to those less familiar with biblical history. (Nonfiction. 5-adult)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780399245275
  • Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 1/24/2008
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 1 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.38 (w) x 11.76 (h) x 0.45 (d)

Meet the Author

Gennady Spirin lives in Princeton, NJ.

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