4 Stars Out Of 5
Very nicely done!
November 17, 2013
serious book stuff
New York, NY
This book took me by surprise, it exceeded my expectations! I took some time off to look it up whether this would be good enough for a child who's ready and more than eager to learn about God and His story. I can say that Crystal Bowman and Cindy Kenney's best efforts are well seen in their read and rhyme bible storybook. One excellent book for a child's library, it covers the entire bible from creation down to the acts of the apostles.
Every line rhymes with the other, and the text flows so easily, and with rhythm. There is a preview list at the beginning of each story, of words that the child can learn and a guide on how to pronounce certain names and places. Then after the story comes a list of words that the child would have been able to read (I Can Read These Words) and a list of "words that rhyme" followed by a series of simple questions to check on comprehension and then suggested activities. Some activities may not be appropriate for a child's interest or ability, but you can easily come up with your own ideas with the suggestion.
The pages are glossy and smooth to touch, and the book looks sturdy enough to withstand a certain "rough" handling by not so careful little hands.
However on a cons point of view, I personally find the illustrations getting short of my expectations. An adult may appreciate the efforts put on by Engel, but you wouldn't expect a child of the authors' recommended age of readers to be bursting out, "Oh, look ma, this was made from a collage of traditional and digital techniques! What a nice work of art!"
I find it very disappointing that the visual portrayals of the people/characters are rather unpleasant. For instance, the shapes of the faces are so irregular, even the arms and the legs do not take on definite shapes. I find it disturbing, and they look rather grotesque. Hairs on men's legs look like patches which look like skin disease or punctures, and they look rather misaligned. I don't know how the publishers and authors tolerated the fact that there were some pages that have been left mostly blank except for the printed words, and the illustrator have indolently splattered unpalatable pictures, e.g. in Samson's story there's a spread of two pages wherein on one side Samson was flexing off his biceps, and on the other side little miss Delilah was clasping hands, one leg lifted up. Yes, Up!
What I appreciate about Engel's art is her ability to convey texture and depth, and was careful enough to choose beautiful shades and tints, and in the right intensity. But then again, combining that with misshapen looking bodies, the pictures do not appeal to the general audience of children.
I would have given this book 5 stars, but one star off for the distorted-looking characters.