Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Let There Be Light by Archbishop Desmond Tutu

Let There Be Light, written by Archbishop Desmond Tutu and illustrated by Nancy Tillman is a creation story with a multicultural twist.  The most impressive and appealing aspect of this full color children's book, is that it is illustrated with detailed, full color art on every single page.  The quality of the art in this book is comparable to museum quality art, in stark contrast to the quickly drawn, careless cartoon artwork that seems have become the recent standard for many children's books these day.    The vibrant art contains unexpected, realistic detail as well as a modern abstract element.  Though subtle, the multicultural influence of this book is evident with the focus on African animals in the artwork as well as the multicultural children wearing traditional styled clothing on the final pages. 

As far as the text- the actual story, it is a basic re-telling of the creation account in storybook form.  The simple words and creation story are brought to life with vibrant adjectives to capture the attention of a young child.  This book is a wonderful introduction to the creation account of the bible for any child.  Right when the story is expected to end, the reader will find on the back end page a cryptic, one line message for the child: "You are loved", to reinforce the idea of God's love without actually inserting anything extraneous into the body of the creation account that was not originally included in the seven day bible account.  The minimalist description on the back of the book, "you are part of something truly amazing", captures the significance of the creation account that modern society often undermines.  These magical touched give the bible account of creation new appeal for young readers in a day and age where fantasy and fairy tales and Disney stories compete for the attention of youth and parents alike.  As a blogger for Booksneeze I received a copy of this book published by Zondervan for the purpose of writing this review.

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