Because Nothing Looks Like God

Lawrence Kushner, Author, Karen Kushner, Joint Author, Dawn Majewski, Illustrator Jewish Lights Publishing $17.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-58023-092-6
Lawrence Kushner (The Book of Miracles: A Young Person's Guide to Jewish Spiritual Awareness) and Karen Kushner (contributor to How to Be a Jewish Parent) tackle three big questions in this discussion-starter of a book: Where is God? What does God look like? How does God make things happen? There is no story here, just these three questions and the Kushners' sometimes profound, sometimes contrived, answers. God is ""in the way people come together.... And in the Band-Aid fix-up after a fall."" God is also ""in birdchirp, frogsong and chattering squirrels,/ And in the fly caught in the spider's web."" The Kushners are at their best in their refusal to simplify: ""God doesn't look like anything.../ Because there is nothing to see."" The last section takes a few theological shortcuts. The authors explain how God works by advising readers to ""look at your town. One family gives money for people who lost their home.... Look in the mirror. Can you visit someone who feels lonely? Or pick up trash in the playground?"" Kids who are sticklers for logic may not be convinced (What about the homeless families who are not helped?), but others will feel ennobled: God makes things happen ""with little hands, and big hands.... With your hands."" Parents who want help teaching difficult religious concepts will like the Kushners' method of bridging abstract ideas and concrete images. Majewski's (King Midas) uniformly cheerful but unevenly executed pictures mostly serve up tableaux of multiracial families in international settings. Lacking the sophistication of the text, the art threatens to dumb down the authors' ambitious presentation. Ages 4-up. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 11/08/2000
Release date: 11/01/2000
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