Monday, April 22, 2019

Five Fabulous Creation Retellings (Biblical)

Cynthia Rylant
Pulling verses from the first two chapters of Genesis, Rylant illustrates the days of creation.  The information has been condensed down, but it sticks close to the biblical text. 

James Weldon Johnson, author
James E. Ransome, illustrator
Written as a poetic sermon, the influence of folk sayings and antebellum south imagery is present in the text.  Pictures of the creation are interspersed with children sitting around listening as a storyteller recites this poem. The text  takes a few liberties, but embodies the essence and meaning or the biblical story.  The rich poetic language and stunning illustrations make this selection timeless. 

Brenda C. Ward
In this adorable board book version, the text is simplified.  Each illustration has a baby dressed up in a costume (sun, moon, animals) to reflect the text.  The book is out of print (unfortunately), but available in many libraries and from private sellers. 

J.D. Wise, author
Don Day, Kelly Pulley, and Paul Trice, illustrators
A father tells his son the story of creation and the fall as they sit around the fire.  The African terrain, vibrant colors, dynamic illustrations, and poetic verse work together to not only retell the biblical story but emphasize the father’s love (both earthly and heavenly).

Archbishop Desmond Tutu, author
Nancy Tillman, illustrator
A combination of the literal text with some poetic elements, for added imagery and appeal, make this my favorite picture book on the list. Tillman’s rich illustrations are stunning compliment to the text!

Related Books

Matthew Paul Turner, author
David Catrow, illustrator
God’s light—both physical and spiritualis celebrate.  The poetic verses spill over with gratitude for God’s creation and many blessings that come from the light he has created. The conclusion ends with a call to action to “shimmer and shine,/be a beacon so bright,/ cause when God made you, child, God made light.” 

Paul Fleischman, author
Julie Paschkis, illustrator
The universal creation and flood stories are retold using elements from versions all over the world. Paschkis gorgeous illustrations and the fascinating comparative elements make this a worthwhile selection. 

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