Oh, No, Jonah!

Tilda Balsley, illus. by Jago. Kar-Ben, $17.95 (32p) ISBN 978-0-7613-5140-5
The biblical story of Jonah the reluctant and cranky prophet is retold in gorgeous color and catchy rhyme. Balsley (Let My People Go) casts into verse the familiar story of Jonah and the whale (or great fish) as well as what happens after Jonah finally gets to Nineveh and a merciful God forgives the city’s transgressors, much to the prophet’s chagrin. The focus of Balsley’s retold story becomes forgiveness (“and showing us how to forgive”), an interpretation that actually simplifies a problematic biblical book about a prophet who ducks his duty and then gets mad at God. Jago’s illustrations make the story child-friendly: the “great fish” that gobbles Jonah looks like a giant orange goldfish, and his color palette is warm and jewel-like. The book is probably best for younger children; it can acquaint them with a cultural trope without their raising theological questions about a less than heroic prophet. Ages 5–10. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 07/16/2012
Release date: 09/01/2012
Portable Document Format (PDF) - 32 pages - 978-1-4677-0049-8
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