PreS-Gr 2-Despite the pleasing surface of this Creation retelling, the book will potentially annoy both Biblical conservatives and liberals. The former may put the book down on page one, which begins with God already resting, his work ``done,'' when, lonely and impulsive, He thinks up Man. Conservatives may not care for this casual demotion of humans, made an afterthought or addendum rather than the apex of Creation. Man gives names to all the animals, loses a bone from his side and gets Woman in return-and here feminists may wish that Richards had not limited her retelling to the JE portion of Genesis, with its unreconstructed anthropocentrism. On the plus side, the very anthropomorphic God is accessible to young children (although a God who is ``happy'' and ``pleased'' is not the same as a God who affirms repeatedly that creation is good). Gorbaty's stenciled illustrations are bright and colorful against a black ground. Eve is pink, blond, and blue-eyed; Adam is pink and bald. The figures' doll-like bodies neutralize their nakedness. The elephant, lion, and butterfly, which Adam, in the text's one joke, first thinks of calling ``butterdog,'' are well designed. In the recent glut of Genesis retellings, however, this version does not offer the irresistible attraction of that famous Tree.-Patricia Dooley, formerly at University of Washington, Seattle
This charming retelling from Genesis, narrowly focused on the creation of humans and animals, is ideal for the lap-sitter audience. Simple, direct sentence structure is graced with well-chosen vocabulary: the elephant "lumbers," the snake "slithers," the lion "pads." Young children will appreciate the gentle humor as Man misnames the fluttering "butterdog." Illustrations are large, stylized, and dramatic, in tones ranging from muted gray pastels to glaring whites set against a black void. The airy repetition of forms that Gorbaty employs for the creation of Man, butterfly, and Woman sets the solid (and yes, unclothed) figures into motion. Man's transformation from a dense, robotlike form into a pinwheel of whirling limbs is particularly effective. Text and illustrations harmonize to present joyous, playful creations, quite unconscious of an impending fall.