cover image Creation


Cynthia Rylant. Beach Lane, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-4814-7039-1

Rylant’s illustrations for a simplified version of the Genesis creation story, adapted from the King James Bible, recall those from her Dog Heaven and Cat Heaven—wet, thickly painted acrylics in which childlike forms appear against milky backgrounds. A featureless expanse of gray becomes yellow with the turn of a page as God says, “Let there be light.” God creates pale green grass and fruit trees daubed with bright color. When God makes man and woman, Rylant paints them as ash-gray figures standing apart from one another in a field, facing away from viewers and bathed in greenish light. In the penultimate spread, a friendly zebra gazes at a stand of trees bearing red and pink fruit. “He looked at everything he had created and made, and behold, it was very good.” It is the first image in which the created things are shown relating to one another, and the first in which warm feeling is expressed. The predominant impression is one of strange wondrousness as the world comes into being. All ages. Agent: Steven Malk, Writers House. (Sept.)