Friday, August 17, 2007

Psalm Twenty-Three

Psalm Twenty-Three, illustrated by Tim Ladwig, is another one of those books that uses Bible passages as its text. (This one, of course, is from Psalm 23.) What sets this book apart from the others, though, is the artwork.

True-to-life, vibrant paintings of a contemporary extended African-American family highlight each double-page spread. The images are realistic and three-dimensional, making you feel like you could reach out and touch the persons depicted in the paintings. Set in an urban neighborhood, the pictures correspond in a modern way with a text that is hundreds of years old.

For instance, the line, I shall not want, is illustrated with a painting of Grandma and Grandpa sitting at the kitchen table with a young boy and a young girl (and a dog), eating breakfast and preparing for a day at school. Two young boys playing in a mud puddle are paired with the words He leads me beside quiet waters.

What I Like: Everything. The artist did a wonderful job in the way he used words from the Bible to illustrate life in an urban setting.

What I Dislike: Nothing.

Overall Rating: Excellent.

Age Appeal: The publisher suggests 4-8 years as the appropriate age for this book. I think youngsters of that age would enjoy the illustrations along with the simple text. But, because of its universal appeal and the way the illustrator ties the text to everyday life, I believe this book is appropriate for all ages.

Publisher Info: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1997; ISBN: 0802851630; Hardcover: $17.00.

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