cover image And God Created Squash: How the World Began

And God Created Squash: How the World Began

Martha Whitmore Hickman. Albert Whitman & Company, $15.95 (1pp) ISBN 978-0-8075-0340-9

In this quietly amusing interpolation of the creation story, a childlike, mirthful God in a halcyon Garden of Eden talks himself into a magnificent world. With impish eyes surrounded by a fuzzy cloud of beard and hair, his enraptured thoughts turn, one by one, into things. Then, a peculiar infatuation, borrowed from other creation traditions, captures him: squash. ``I like that name . . . I think I'll use it again. Acorn squash. Butternut squash. Even zucchini squash. I might have a game and call it squash. Or put my hand on something and press down hard and call that squash.'' Saving the best for last, God ends by fashioning some company for himself--something, ``well, more like me.'' While some underwhelmed adults may not tune in to the fun of this rendition, children will delight in the endless naming of species and guess-what-comes-next descriptions. Glowing as if floodlit, Ferri's soft, sunny watercolor and colored pencil illustrations embody the utter beneficence, if not the omnipotence, of a God children may accept as their friend. Ages 4-8. (Mar.)