Young Jesus of Nazareth

Overview

During the early years of Christianity, tales of Jesus' youth flourished--from his childhood play and schooling to his early ability to heal the sick. Today, these wonderful stories are largely unknown. With this lush book, which begins with the nativity and ends with Jesus' earliest teachings, Marianna Mayer splendidly revives many of them. Illustrated with the works of such masters as Caravaggio and da Vinci, here is a stunning portrait of a boy at once ordinary and ...
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Overview

During the early years of Christianity, tales of Jesus' youth flourished--from his childhood play and schooling to his early ability to heal the sick. Today, these wonderful stories are largely unknown. With this lush book, which begins with the nativity and ends with Jesus' earliest teachings, Marianna Mayer splendidly revives many of them. Illustrated with the works of such masters as Caravaggio and da Vinci, here is a stunning portrait of a boy at once ordinary and extraordinary, human and divine.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Beautiful reproductions of some of Europe's finest sacred art complement Mayer's Young Mary of Nazareth mellifluous account of Jesus' childhood. Blending accounts from Matthew and Luke with stories from the apocrypha and other religious writings, Mayer presents a fully dimensional extended portrait of the Holy Family. Joseph and Mary, devoted parents as well as servants of God, appreciate that raising such an extraordinary child will be the biggest challenge of their lives. Here, Jesus is a sort of man-child who calmly balances his very human familial role with a divine calling--a dichotomy that often baffles his teachers. For example, when a priest tells the five-year-old Jesus that he shouldn't be modeling clay sparrows on the Sabbath, Jesus claps his hands and the clay birds come alive and fly off. Readers will be fascinated as Jesus begins to perform miracles and understand his holy power. Mayer's talents as a storyteller allow her to offer an exploration of a religious figure that is both accessible and resonant, and her thoughtful delivery affords a new perspective on the Sermon on the Mount, which concludes the text. Young readers will especially appreciate her ability to project a sense of Jesus' childhood personality, an element absent from the Gospels. And, elegantly produced with Bible-like illuminations in gold, this volume is as enjoyable to look at as it is to read. All ages. Oct. Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
Gr 3-6-The story of Jesus's childhood as told in the gospels of Matthew and Luke is embellished by traditional legends drawn from the Infancy Gospel of Thomas, the Apocrypha, and the revelations of the Venerated Anne Catherine Emmerich. Mayer combines them all into a flowing, dignified narrative, both simple and elegant. She recounts miraculous incidents that began during infancy, and ends with the Biblical accounts of the visit to the Temple at age 12, the baptism by John, and a lovely paraphrase of the beatitudes. Each element begins with capital letters in gold, and the body of the text is in large, clear type arranged harmoniously around full-color reproductions of paintings by James Tissot, Fra Angelico, Jacopo Bassano, Leonardo da Vinci, and others, illustrating the various incidents and set out in a variety of sizes, from full page to vignette. Altogether, the format is perfectly suited to the subject. Informative author and source notes, a bibliography, and a list of the artists are appended.-Patricia Pearl Dole, formerly at First Presbyterian School, Martinsville, VA Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780688167271
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 10/28/1999
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 5 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 10.37 (w) x 10.36 (h) x 0.39 (d)

Meet the Author

Marianna Mayer lives in Roxbury, Connecticut.

"I see folktales and myths as humankind's first stories," says Marianna Mayer. "They are a kind of collective dreaming, filled with timeless symbols and images we can all relate to, regardless of age or culture. And, much as an oyster must be disturbed by a grain of sand in order for the pearl to be created, I often choose to retell stories in which I find unresolved fragments that are somehow perplexing to me."

Though widely known as a children's book writer, Marianna Mayer's early education focused on visual art. "It seems to me there was never a time when I didn't want to be an artist, " she says. "I liked to tell stories with pictures and compose music. My sister and I put on plays made up from my stories. And then I decided to start writing a book, at the age of nine." She published her first book at the age of nineteen. After college, she studied painting at the Art Students League in New York City. Her experiences as an artist provided many images that she began to incorporate into writing. Gradually, she shifted to the written word as a medium of expression. She explains, "I began to feel more freedom when using words as my paints and plots as my canvases.

"While in the midst of a writing project, I live so much in my mind that what takes place in my imagination becomes quite real to me. I try to become part of the culture of a particular tale as much as possible. While working on Baba Yaga and Vasilisa the Brave, for example, I read all I could about Russia. What I learned about Slavic mythology helped to deepen my understanding of the story. I listened to Russian music, ate Russian food (which I love!), and tried in other small ways to enter into the essence of that culture."

"My writing is deeply personal. First and foremost I write for the child who still lives within me. Then to the child in others, whether that child resides in a young person or an adult. I'm striving to reach out to that spirit of wonder within us all. The stories I was told as a child, those half-remembered folktales and myths, have become the foundation for what I continue to work on in my books. The sense of hope that books instilled in me as a child saw me through many difficult times. Because of this, I choose characters who face overwhelming odds but triumph through courage and perseverance. Similarly, myth allows a child to believe in his or her own dreams and can instill a boundless hope for the future."

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