cover image Jesus: His Life in Verses from the King James Bible

Jesus: His Life in Verses from the King James Bible

. Marshall Cavendish, $21 (36pp) ISBN 978-0-7614-5630-8

In an unusual project, a tempera painting by Spirin has been digitally dissected to create individual images for this picture book that portrays 13 events from the life of Jesus. A note about the painting describes Spirin’s (The Twelve Days of Christmas ) artistic process (he drew from the symbolism of Renaissance painters) and accompanies a reproduction of the 40”×49” original. Details from the larger work illustrate key moments—including the Annunciation, Jesus’ baptism, and the raising of Lazarus, among others—beside passages from the King James Bible (Jesus’ words are printed in red). The result is an elegant, large-format volume that offers a reverent and arresting visual interpretation of biblical events (several scenes are defined by ornate columns and arches that form a fortresslike structure that makes up the brunt of the original). Classical touches abound: Jesus, Mary, John the Baptist, and others wear golden halos, and angels (even the devil) have brilliant, multicolored wings. However, the formal language of the King James translation (“This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth his glory; and his disciples believed in him”) may prove challenging for younger audiences. Ages 8–12. (Feb.)