cover image The Pilgrim Book of Bible Stories: The Great Stories of the Bible Retold in a Fresh and Lively Way for Today's Children

The Pilgrim Book of Bible Stories: The Great Stories of the Bible Retold in a Fresh and Lively Way for Today's Children

Diana Shimon, Illustrator, Mark Water, Author Pilgrim Press $22.5 (320p) ISBN 978-0-8298-1487-3

The institutional-looking cover on the paper-over-board Pilgrim Book of Bible Stories by Mark Water, illus. by Diana Shimon, belies the often stimulating discussions within. The volume emphasizes parts of the Bible often neglected in children's adaptations; as the author puts it, ""Wisdom literature, prophecy, vision and parable are given as much space as historical adventure."" The tone of the retellings approaches the casual, with excerpts from the New Revised Standard Version reminding readers of the more stately language associated with the Bible. Fact boxes inserted periodically supply extra-textual information (e.g., the author amplifies the story of the Flood with a reference to the flood in the Epic of Gilgamesh and suggests a geological explanation; when the apostles are introduced, a fact box analyzes the variations in the ways each of the Gospels names the apostles and concludes that Jesus ""probably had many special helpers""). Watercolors enliven every page.