cover image Light: The First Seven Days

Light: The First Seven Days

Sarah Waldman. Harcourt Children's Books, $14.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-15-220870-7

Celebrated illustrator Waldman (creator of the stylish covers of several Gary Paulsen novels in addition to his own interpretation of The Highwayman ) teams up with his teenage daughter for this straightforward retelling of the Creation story from Genesis. The text, which retains familiar biblical cadences, is set in large white type, contrasting boldly with the succession of blue-black pages. Likewise, the bright bands of color decorating the letters of the title on the jacket seem ready to burst out of the darkness that contains them. Waldman's vibrant acrylics achieve a mosaic effect with daubs of green, blue and purple in various hues. Streaks of pink and orange are incorporated into the art as the text progresses; similarly, the margins framing the art lighten from black to a serene blue-gray. Waldman depicts the first day as a swirl of primarily dark brush strokes against a pitch-black background, while the seventh day features a full-color landscape populated by all forms of life. An afterword informs readers that ``although there are differences, Judaism, Christianity and Islam share the underlying concept of this creation story.'' The carefully crafted design elements effectively underscore the significance of the event portrayed. Ages 4-8. (June)