'A shoot will spring from the stock of Jesse, and from his roots a bud will blossom.' The Book of Isaiah The inspiration for this book was the tradition of carved Jesse trees (and later, stained glass windows), used in some countries to tell people Bible stories in medieval times. Using her skills as a storyteller and her love of the Bible, the ...Read More'A shoot will spring from the stock of Jesse, and from his roots a bud will blossom.' The Book of Isaiah The inspiration for this book was the tradition of carved Jesse trees (and later, stained glass windows), used in some countries to tell people Bible stories in medieval times. Using her skills as a storyteller and her love of the Bible, the author imaginatively blends the story of a craftsman recreating a carved Jesse tree with selected Old Testament stories and the Nativity. The result is a fascinating blend of simple yet evocative retellings and a sensitive contemporary story about the transforming power of love. Bee Willey's stylish, contemporary illustrations vividly capture the mood and characters of the stories. Awarded Star Choice for Christmas by The Children's Bookseller, August 2003Read Less
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Publishers Weekly, 2005-08-29 In this finely crafted anthology, McCaughrean (Gilgamesh the Hero; God's Kingdom) weaves lively retellings of Bible stories into a clever overarching narrative framework that will keep readers hooked. An old carpenter has begun carving a traditional Jesse tree-its branches a collection of symbols that show the ancestors of Jesus Christ-for a local church. Much to the cranky man's chagrin, an inquisitive boy who seems to be vacationing nearby with his family routinely interrupts his work. Explaining the various symbols to the boy and telling the stories behind them becomes as much a part of the man's daily undertaking as carving the wood. But when the tree is complete and the boy suddenly stops coming around, the carpenter (and readers) wonder if the young visitor may well have been an angel of inspiration. McCaughrean's tales have a leisurely pace and accessible language and tone. Her consistent inclusion of realistic, sometimes-testy exchanges between the carpenter and boy adds a level of immediacy and keeps the collection compelling. Willey's (McCaughrean's collaborator on several Myths of the World books) dramatic spot art toggles between Biblical and modern scenes, emphasizing the colorful scope of the carpenter's project. Ages 5-up. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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