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Mary: The Mother of Jesus Hardcover – September, 1995

11 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 1-4?Biblical references to the mother of Jesus are actually quite scanty, and dePaola has woven some appropriate legends concerning her childhood, her betrothal to Joseph, and her dormition with a graceful, simple rendition of the pertinent scriptural passages (based upon The New English Bible) to round out the story. The writing style is restrained, elegant, and expressive. Handsome, framed, full-page paintings; harmonizing, rectangular spot illustrations on the pages of text; and a clear, attractive typeface give a balanced, dignified appearance to the book. The colors are subdued, yet rich, and the figures have a still, eternal quality particularly appropriate to the timelessness of the subject. Mary continues dePaola's tradition of outstanding presentations of stories of the Bible and saints without proselytizing or bias.?Patricia Pearl Dole, formerly at First Presbyterian School, Martinsville, VA
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

Ages 5^-8. Based on the New English Bible and legends about the mother of Jesus, this picture book tells the story of Mary's life in words and full-color artwork. Although the text has a biblical tone, the words are simple and clear. A feeling of joyful reverence pervades the book. The illustrations, some full-page and others in smaller horizontal panels, offer young children a visual experience similar to that of stained glass windows, which spoke to medieval nonreaders: the art suggests the story through a series of beautiful tableaux. And as in stained glass windows, some of the objects shown have symbolic meanings that enrich the viewer who recognizes them, though knowledge of the symbolism is not necessary for enjoyment of the art. Defined by strong lines and enriched by subtle shades and overlays of color, the simple, yet majestic illustrations have an underlying rhythm of forms that unifies their composition. In the larger paintings, the main figure or figures are framed by arches, architectural arches as well as similar shapes formed by clothing and trees. Graceful and full of grace, this picture book is unified in subject, words, and art. Carolyn Phelan

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 and up
  • Grade Level: Preschool and up
  • Hardcover: 1 pages
  • Publisher: Holiday House; 1st edition (September 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0823410188
  • ISBN-13: 978-0823410187
  • Product Dimensions: 11.4 x 8.8 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #446,349 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

"Tomie dePaola was born in Meriden, Connecticut, in 1934 to a family of Irish and Italian background. By the time he could hold a pencil, he knew what his life's work would be. His determination to create books for children led to a BFA from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York, and an MFA from the California College of Arts & Crafts in Oakland, California.
It drove him through the years of teaching, designing greeting cards and stage sets, and painting church murals until 1965, when he illustrated his first children's book, Sound, by Lisa Miller for Coward-McCann. Eventually, freed of other obligations, he plunged full time into both writing and illustrating children's books.
He names Fra Angelico and Giotto, Georges Rouault, and Ben Shahn as major influences on his work, but he soon found his own unique style. His particular way with color, line, detail, and design have earned him many of the most prestigious awards in his field, among them a Caldecott Honor Award for Strega Nona, the Smithsonian Medal from the Smithsonian Institution, the Kerlan Award from the University of Minnesota for his ""singular attainment in children's literature,"" the Catholic Library Association's Regina Medal for his ""continued distinguished contribution,"" and the University of Southern Mississippi Medallion. He was also the 1990 United States nominee for the Hans Christian Andersen Medal for illustration.
Tomie dePaola has published almost 200 children's books in fifteen different countries. He remains one of the most popular creators of books for children, receiving more than 100,000 fan letters each year.
Tomie lives in an interesting house in New Hampshire with his four dogs. His studio is in a large renovated 200-year-old barn.
- He has been published for over 30 years.
- Over 5 million copies of his books have sold worldwide.
- His books have been published in over 15 different countries.
- He receives nearly 100,000 fan letters each year.
Tomie dePaola has received virtually every significant recognition for his books in the children's book world, including:
- Caldecott Honor Award from American Library Association
- Newbery Honor Award from American Library Association
- Smithson Medal from Smithsonian Institution
- USA nominee in illustration for Hans Christian Andersen Medal
- Regina Medal from Catholic Library Association


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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Mei-Li G. Beane on July 3, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Tomie dePaola has done it again! Here is a beautifully written and illustrated children's book about a religious subject that is truly worth owning. The colorful artwork will interest younger children, and interesting facts and stories about the Blessed Mother will intrigue and excite older readers. DePaola treats his subject respectfully, but without excessive sentimentallity. The early style of the artwork and the inclusion of part of an antiphon in each section of the book ties "Mary, Mother of Jesus" to the long and honorable European Marian tradition.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Seamama on December 20, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Though without an Imprimatur, this book draws from accepted Catholic Marian tradition as well as scripture. The "chapters" are as follows:

The Presentation of the Child Mary at the Temple (refers to the story of Anne and Joachim being told by Angels that they would have a special daughter)
The Bethrothal of Joseph and Mary
The Annunciation
The Visitation
The Birth of Jesus
The Presentation of the Boy Jesus in the Temple
The Adoration of the Magi
The Flight into Egypt
The Boy Jesus in the Temple
The Marriage at Cana
The Ministry
Mary's Solitude (refers to the Crucifixion)
The Coming of the Holy Spirit
Mary is Taken to Heaven
The Queen of Heaven

Each "chapter" is only a few paragraphs long with at least two illustrations-- perfect for younger readers to get a sense of the story without losing interest. Although the chapter titles may seem more like a story focusing on Jesus, they are told with an emphasis on Mary.

This is an excellent book that should be in every Catholic child's home library. If I had to make suggestions, however, I would add three things:

- The phrase from the Nativity story where it says, "Mary treasured all these things and pondered them in her heart." (I can't explain it exactly, but I've always loved that part.)
- A bit more from the Magnificat, if not the entire prayer. (The book contains an adapatation of the first line but it's such a beautiful prayer, it would've been nice to have it all, even as an addendum.)
- A section devoted to Marian prayers, including the Hail Mary, the Memorae, etc. (Just seems like a fitting way to end a book that honors Our Lady).
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By claudette pittman on June 16, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This book is a great source for teaching young children about Mary. It is also great for teens, who may not want to sit and read much about Mary, but the Art draws them in and gets their interest and they can handle a page or two (before they know it, they're done!). I was surprised by this while I was teaching a teen confirmation class and had just put the book out for "kicks", it was one of the most used books that day!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Lara Muse on June 19, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Mary: The Mother of Jesus is a Catholic classic included in children's literature studies such as Catholic Mosaic by Cay Gibson and Elizabeth Foss' Advent study. Tomie de Paola is not only a fabulous childrens' author, he is a great artist as well. This book should be included on the bookshelves of Catholic children everywhere.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Martha J. Koenig on July 18, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Tomie DePaola does a remarkable job with the Bible and his incredible art. Mary comes alive!!!!!!

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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I can't believe this has now gone out of print. All the used copies are going for outrageous prices--I'm glad I got a copy just before the inflation started. This will surely become a collector's item. I hope a publisher adopts this precious book and brings it back into print soon, along with The Lady of Guadalupe! De Paola's artwork is understated and engaging as always, and this quiet little book is a sweet, age-appropriate tribute to the Mother of God that your children will love.
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