cover image Joseph and His Magnificent Coat of Many Colors

Joseph and His Magnificent Coat of Many Colors

Marcia Williams. Candlewick Press (MA), $13.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-1-56402-019-2

Williams's exhilarating art, an uncommon blend of the primitive and the refined, illuminates the biblical story of favorite son Joseph, whose father gives him a glorious coat--here artfully embellished with rows of rabbits, fish, stars and circles. Sold to travelers by his jealous brothers, Joseph becomes a slave in Egypt, where he impresses the Pharaoh with his ability to interpret dreams. When the young man warns that famine will follow years of plenty, he is appointed governor of Egypt, and eventually forgives his brothers and saves them from starvation. Intricate, variegated borders surround the three or four illustrated horizontal panels that fill most of these festive pages. Williams smoothly distills Joseph's saga, and sprinkles her pictures with contemporary dialogue and asides that make the tale all the more accessible to young readers. Ages 4-up. ( Apr. )