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.
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