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Simple Gifts: a Shaker Hymnby Chris Raschka
Synopses & Reviews
Simple Gifts is one of the very few hymns that all Americans treasure. In churches, at graduation and wedding ceremonies, on concert and ballet stages, and especially in homes and schools, it is a perennial favorite.
Now the acclaimed and ever-innovative artist Chris Raschka has transformed this treasured Shaker hymn into a lavish picture book.
In Raschka's hands an irresistible cat, the bluebird of happiness, a sweet rabbit, a calm turtle, and the flowers that bloom, bend, and bow, all "Come 'round right."
"Raschka's vision is unique, and here he translates the Shaker musical paean...into a sort of peaceable kingdom, where a cat, blue jay, rabbit, squirrel and turtle dwell together in harmony with nature." Publishers Weekly
"[A] lush, complex, nearly abstract setting of the well-known hymn...something of a homage to the work of Paul Klee." New York Times Book Review
"The colors seem rather somber, but on careful observation that becomes less important as the images are examined they reveal a menagerie of characters." Children's Literature
"The hand-lettered, black cursive text against a band of gold or tan provides a fluid, childlike accompaniment that matches the mood and palette of the images to a tee. Simply lovely." School Library Journal
Based on a Shaker hymn that has inspired artists from Aaron Copeland to Martha Graham, this picture book version is an innovative interpretation of the beloved hymn. Full-color illustrations.
About the Author
Chris Raschka won a Caldecott Honor for Yo! Yes?, and is also the illustrator of The Genie in the Jar by Nikki Giovanni. He lives with his wife and son in New York City.
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