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  Bookends: Dan Davidson


Reviewed: December 13, 2005
By: Demi
Publisher: McElderry Books
42 pages, $28.95

Demi (Charlotte Demi Hunt) seems to be spending much of her career these days producing books about the lives of spiritual leaders, among them Gandhi, Mohammed, the Buddha and Mother Teresa.

In Jesus she hits all the high points, all the critical events and miracles of Christ's life, using text "inspired" by the King James Version, and illustrating the stories in her trademark iconic style.

Each page deals with a seminal event in Jesus's life, highlighted by a framed painting illustrating the scene described in the text on the outer third of the page. Each text section is adapted slightly from the KJV original, and accompanied with chapter and verse citations so you could look up the references.

The artwork fairly glows on the page. Demi uses an effective combination on light and dark colors highlighted, in this book, by a great deal of gold, especially in medieval style halos around the heads of the major figures in the story.

This is a somewhat wordy life of Christ. It will need to be read to children and probably suffers from trying to do too much in a 42 page picture book, but should be a good addition to a child's bookshelf.

Usborne Lift the Flap Nativity

retold by Felicity Brooks

Designer and modelmaker: Jo Litchfield

If you are overwhelmed by Demi’s attempt to take on all four gospel narratives, Nativity is a clever retelling of just the first Christmas story. Aside from the fact that everybody gets the timing of the visit by the Wise Men wrong, there are no problems with the story. The selling point of the book is the way the pictures have been created. As you can see from the credits, these have all been photographed from models created to illustrate the story.

As for the flaps, there are lots of doors and windows to open, saddle bags to peek into and a sky or two to alter. Nothing spectacular, as flap books go, but these are sturdy and should last through many repeated readings without a need for repairs.

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