A Guide to Children's Bible Story Books in Twentieth-Century America: To Hold and to Have

A Guide to Children's Bible Story Books in Twentieth-Century America: To Hold and to Have

A Guide to Children's Bible Story Books in Twentieth-Century America: To Hold and to Have

A Guide to Children's Bible Story Books in Twentieth-Century America: To Hold and to Have

Synopsis

Twentieth-century America has produced an abundance of richly illustrated children's Bible storybooks, many of high literary and artistic quality. This guide selects and analyzes 134 of these books that both meet high critical standards and show respect for their Old and New Testament source as a traditional literary universe of sacred numina. Here presented individually with extended, number-coded annotations, these storybooks are argued to have a figurative profundity inseparable from their appeal to children. They are categorized into three basic types and indexed by author, illustrator, title, subject, and level of difficulty.

Excerpt

Mindful of the need for a guide to children’s Bible story books, particularly those select best from academic presses, we have aimed to achieve two related goals in this bibliography. Our first is to present superior twentieth-century children’s Bible story books available in America, to review an American cultural treasure now at the close of the century, indicating its classic value for all readers and all intellectual mentors. Our second is to present a practical aid for those educators who would tap into the treasure’s riches for their students, their young library patrons, or their families.

A cornucopia unique to the modern world, this treasure belongs to the post-Caldecott, post-Newbery world of children’s literature. Its books have that combined delicacy and vivacity characteristic of the best in children’s books. They are primarily for children and thus enjoyable without teachers and printed aids to reading, although such aids may be helpful. in our chosen Bible story books is an excellence in some cases to be appreciated through silent reading, in some cases through listening, and in all cases to be seen and held. No virtual reality can take the place of these books. Their excellence is at once rooted in an ancient and medieval culture and directed to the modern child in America. Constantly we have sought those books which have a poetic sensitivity to their Bible source and an empathy with the point of view and tone that are historically established in the Bible, just as we would ask any redactor of a bygone literature to enter the viewpoint of that literature empathetically if he or she would be taken seriously. Many books allude to Bible literature or use it as a pivot to explore their own themes. We have focused upon books of Bible literature in a stricter sense, books representing for children what is contained for adults in the Western canon of the Bible. Our books have as their primary aim laying out events of the Bible in and for themselves alone. Such classics of children’s literature as William Kurelek’s A Northern . . .

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