Paul Writes (a Letter)

Chris Raschka. Eerdmans, $17 (40p) ISBN 978-0-8028-5494-0
Epistle, that fancy New Testament word, means letter, and Paul was a real human being who, “by writing letters to his friends,” the author asserts, “changed the world.” Caldecott Medalist Raschka (The Doorman’s Repose) paints Paul at his desk in bright colors, writing earnestly, the words floating around him on the page. With depth, he teases out the most important parts of the apostle’s teachings: “Dear Friends in Galatia, Only remember one thing: love others just the way you love yourselves.” Working in bold black outlines that illuminate the epistles, Raschka imagines the apostle bald, with a beard, wearing simple robes, sitting in a variety of rooms that reflect his journeys, until a subtle background shows him imprisoned in Rome. Sometimes Paul experiences consternation: “My earlier letter upset you. Good! Sometimes we need to be upset.” Sometimes he’s placid: “Be tenderhearted.” And sometimes he’s sagely funny: “Don’t be old lumps of bread. Be new lumps of bread.” Both those intimidated by and those appreciative of formal biblical prose will find Raschka’s version moving, real, and full of humanity: “I am sorry I have not come to you yet. I was feeling down.” Ages 6–up. Agent: Brenda Bowen, Sanford J. Greenburger Assoc. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 07/23/2018
Release date: 09/11/2018
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