cover image With a Mighty Hand: The Story in the Torah

With a Mighty Hand: The Story in the Torah

Adapted by Amy Ehrlich, paintings by Daniel Nevins. Candlewick, $29.99 (224p) ISBN 978-0-7636-4395-9

In this concise and engaging adaptation of the Hebrew Bible, Ehrlich takes the Five Books of Moses and squeezes the essential portions into a comparatively slim volume. Beginning with the story of Creation and continuing through Moses’ death at the end of Deuteronomy, Ehrlich (The Girl Who Wanted to Dance) takes portions of the Torah and summarizes them, using biblical language and cadence. Paintings by Nevins, illustrating his first book, accompany the story, and his saturated colors and flat forms make the paintings appropriately sacral and dreamy. Although Genesis and Exodus are recounted in significant detail, the entire book of Leviticus, which deals with the priestly offerings, consists of only 10 pages, and the last two books are also communicated in few pages. Ehrlich’s gift-friendly abridgment will appeal to readers interested in learning the Bible’s story without the interest or patience to wade through its complexity, or who may prefer to contemplate the striking art. All ages. Author’s agent: Joe Spieler, the Spieler Agency. (Aug.)