I have yet to find the absolutely perfect picture book on the story of Creation. Interestingly, there are at least a dozen stories on the market but absolutely all of them fall short of what I’m looking for! All I want are the words of the Bible… or at least an honest rephrasing of the 7 days. And great illustrations. Why is that combo so difficult to find? Many great artists are paired with the story told in an inauthentic way… or conversely, many of the best texts are paired with inane illustrations. Or there is decent work done of both but something else just isn’t quite right. So far my very favorite title of the Creation story is Gennady Spirin’s Creation which is beautifully done. My only dislike of the book is that God looks like an giant, ominous wizard. But who can accurately depict God anyway? So it’s close to being “the one” and may just have to settle for that title for lack of better options anyway.
So, I had high hopes for the newest story of Creation done by the wonderful Archbishop Desmond Tutu: Let There Be Light. The illustrations were done by the famous ‘feel good’ illustrator Nancy Tillman who is best known for her books like On the Night You Were Born. Tillman seems to have the singular focus of all her work be that of boosting children’s self esteem. I am not anti feel-good books, mind you, I just get tired of the overdone saccharine genre and only truly enjoy the quirky not-so-obvious “You are Loved!” stories like The Runaway Bunny. Everything else is fine for what? Baby shower or birthday gifts? But as far as actual STORIES go… they feel like an overdose of cookies with a side of soda topped off with a mound of frosting—too sickly sweet—too contrived. But I digress.
Let There Be Light is a faithful enough adaptation of the story of Creation. It goes through the 7 days. The art is okay at first… I loved the sweeping constellation page and vagueness of the image of God Himself. But then it gets weird with the introduction of the animals. They appear very, very computer generated and that type of art just doesn’t seem to belong in such a celebration of the natural world as I envision it. The message in the beginning and in the end of the book is that God created the world all gearing up to the creation of the WONDERFUL YOU! And don’t forget: YOU ARE LOVED!
My search continues. But this sort of thing might appeal to you; I can respect that. Here is a pretty accurate video trailer of the book: