Helen Haidle, Author HE IS ALIVE!Helen Haidle

The meatiest of the Easter titles reviewed here, this volume offers the most faithful retelling of the Easter story. Haidle (The First Christmas Tree) begins her account with Jesus' raising of Lazarus, a foreshadowing of his own rise from the dead but also an act that ignites the ire and jealousy of other priests and teachers. The author then turns to the key events of Holy Week, beginning with Jesus' arrival in Jerusalem (Palm Sunday) to celebrate Passover and his overturning of the money changers' tables in the Temple on Monday. Spector (A Garden's Promise) contributes a dramatic painting depicting the betrayal of Christ, as money drops into Judas's open hands. All of the pivotal moments appear here, from Pilate's reluctance to crucify Christ to Christ's rising from the dead. Spector keeps the focus on the drama at hand and, except for a few inconsistent renderings of Christ's face, his portraits are accomplished. Haidle continues the action with stories related in Luke and John about Christ's appearance to Mary Magdalene and Mary, wife of Cleophas, as well as to the disciples. (Adults should note that biblical references for these events are not given.) The only drawback is the addition of the "He Is Alive!" refrain on the last four spreads; the repetition seems unnecessary and forced in an otherwise accessible narrative. Ages 4-8. (Feb.)

Reviewed on: 02/19/2001
Release date: 03/01/2001
Genre: Children's
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