MESSIAH

THE WORDBOOK FOR THE ORATORIO

Young people will not be the primary audience for this elegant volume, but it'll greatly appeal to a limited number of all ages. As explained in Christopher Hogwood's interesting scholarly introduction—which also discusses the oratorio's history—the scriptural words were selected and edited by Charles Jennens on Handel's behalf. They're reprinted here with marginal biblical citations printed in red, as are titles and other headings. Moser adds 16 stunning watercolors—some quite realistic (notably the suffering Christ); some almost purely symbolic; all with a powerful simplicity of color and image. An outstandingly handsome book, focusing on the splendid words Handel set to music. (Nonfiction. 6+)

Pub Date: Oct. 30, 1992

ISBN: 0-06-021779-0

Page Count: 48

Publisher: HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 1992

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SAINT VALENTINE

The most interesting feature of this retelling of a story about a saint martyred in A.D. 270 is the art, a meticulous re- creation of the medium of its subject's period. Using thousands of tiny, rectangular pieces resembling tiles, Sabuda replicates the effect of Roman mosaics. His simple designs and harmonious, gently muted colors are pleasing, and he achieves surprising subtleties of expression, considering the intractability of the medium. Actually, the illustrations work even better from a slight distance (as with a group), so that the demarcations between the tiny pieces are less predominant. The technique, which tends to congeal the action, makes relatively undramatic illustrations; still, it's a fascinating experiment that brings the ancient world to life by paying tribute to its art rather than by picturing it in a modern style. The straightforward narrative centers on Valentine as a physician whose ointment restores the sight of a jailer's blind daughter, long the saint's friend. It's implied that the long-awaited cure takes place at the moment of his offstage death; the story ends with the joy of the child's renewed vision. An unusual and attractive rendition. Historical note. (Nonfiction/Picture book. 6-9)

Pub Date: Oct. 30, 1992

ISBN: 0-689-31762-X

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Atheneum

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 1992

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DAYS OF AWE

STORIES FOR ROSH HASHANAH AND YOM KIPPUR

Three well-crafted retellings focus on the pillars of the Jewish High Holidays: charity, prayer, and repentance. A samovar left with Rivka by the prophet Elijah begins to shine as she performs her ordinary acts of charity; she and her husband realize that their good fortune is a blessing that allows them to help others. A shepherd's simple but heartfelt prayers are silenced by a scholar who deplores their informality, but God sends an angel to show the shepherd that his prayers resound in Heaven. A famed rabbi unthinkingly offends a beggar who then refuses to forgive him; the rabbi's gentle daughter convinces the beggar that forgiveness will lift his burden of bitterness. Weaving these universal tales about approaches to God with just a few, well-chosen words, Kimmel deftly uses wise but humble characters to convey his message and sets them in various locales: a shtetl, C¢rdoba in Moorish Spain, the Holy Land. The characters' simple lives are effectively depicted in Weihs's folk-inspired art, though there are some discrepancies between the details and text. A fine addition to the body of Jewish folklore. Introduction on the significance of the High Holidays; notes to the stories. (Folklore. 8-12)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1991

ISBN: 0-670-82772-X

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 1991

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