Monday, September 26

Our Favorite Creation Books

This is my favorite creation book.  When I first read it to our little class at church they all oohed and awed as I turned the vibrant pages; the illustrations are amazing (and great templates for doing art work with kids).  But, I think my favorite part of this book is that the text is a poem.  The original text of Genesis one is a poem and this book does a beautiful job of putting words together playfully.

This is the Beautiful World that God made.  
This is the light, brilliant and bright,
        that formed the first day from a dark, endless night
        and started the beautiful world that God made.
This is the heaven, so skillfully framed, 
        a glorious firmament God breathed and named, 
        that glowed in the light, brilliant and bright.  
This is the land and God-gathered seas, 
       the grass, ferns and flowers, the fruit-bearing trees,
       that sat beneath heaven, so skillfully framed...

It continues in this manner through the seventh day of rest and then turns and comes back again ending with ... and started the beautiful world that God made.

The boys love Wonderful Earth by Nick Butterworth and Mick Inkpen.  It has lift the flaps, half pages to turn and make silly creatures, pop-ups and the text is really fun.  The first part of the book delights in the amazing things that God has made and the book ends with a heavy environmental message.  I typically don't like books that are too finger-pointing/moralistic in their message for young children, but this one is such fun at the beginning and I care so deeply about the message they are trying to promote that it remains one of our favorite creations books.

I love this book.  The illustrations are simple and lovely.  The book is aimed more at an older child and requires a comfortability with metaphor.  God is seen as a young artist in the book creating the world.  The end of his work (and the book) is creating human kind.  (And I've been known to tear up at the end.)
...he worked all night long.  And by morning he had made a new artist in his own image.  Shyly pleased with himself, he made another one.  He loved the company.  He made one more.
The world began filling up with artists.  These made new ones and the new ones made even newer ones and, of course, they all loved to daydream.  Living among blue water and green grass, they have daydreamed the most beautiful things in the world.
The first young artist, still a dreamer, has always called them his children.
And they in turn, have always called him God.

Adam and Eve and the Garden of Eden moves into Genesis two and three, but it also does a good job (through illustrations) of delighting in creation.  I always love Jane Ray's illustrations and the only thing I'm not crazy about in this book is the giant eyes that represent God's presence with them in the garden. I'm not sure how I would do it differently, but something about the eyes staring down seems impersonal to me and lacks the image of God walking with them in the garden. 

Do you have a favorite book about creation?  Do share in the comments - we always love new books to look for!


Leslie said...

Thanks for this great post Emily! I just ordered a copy of the first book - it looks gorgeous!

Elisa L said...

You are always on top of things, Em. I saw the subject and was all prepared to recommend Jane Ray's book in the comments, but you beat me to it. :)

Watkins said...

Oh, I'm so glad you ordered the first book - I love it so and it is a really fun one to share.

Elisa, I'm glad you all like Jane Ray's book too - I love all the detail in the illustrations.