cover image MIRACLES: Wonders Jesus Worked

MIRACLES: Wonders Jesus Worked

Mary Hoffman, , illus. by Jackie Morris. . Penguin Putnam/Fogelman, $16.99 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-8037-2610-9

The talented team that created Parables: Stories Jesus Told produces this companion volume, a thoughtful, accessible overview of some of the best-known stories of the New Testament. In an introductory note, Hoffman describes a miracle as something that "looks a lot like magic," a happening that overturns the laws of nature. Laudably, this definition immediately puts in context for young readers the Christian view that Jesus lived on Earth as both man and God, and it also explains in part why not all reactions to the historical Jesus were positive. In nine well-chosen, carefully abridged entries, Hoffman tells of Jesus's work among the people of Galilee—curing the ill, changing water into wine, walking on water, calming a raging storm, raising a man from the dead. Her colloquial approach includes a brief preface to each tale involving the reader ("Have you ever wished that you could make someone better?" or "Some of the miracles that Jesus did, like healing illnesses, can now be done by science and medicine"). Morris's evocative watercolors, in creamy, dusky tones, capture a complex blend of the wonderful and the commonplace, showing how Jesus' actions inspired joy, faith and fear. Throughout, His earnest-faced followers gather on sandy shores, lush mountainsides or dusty roads, interspersed with palm and olive trees, camels, donkeys and stone structures of the day. An endnote directs readers to specific biblical sources. A book sure to be welcomed by children and those helping them to interpret scripture. Ages 4-8. (Sept.)