From Publishers Weekly
The inspired re-pairing of Rylant and Moser, whose previous collaborative effort yielded the evocative and deeply personal Appalachia , proves that the talented author and artist share more than geography. This time around they offer a fanciful yet reverent interpretation of Genesis. Imagining God as a "young artist who lived all alone, quietly, and who spent his days as most young artists do: daydreaming," Newbery Medalist Rylant ( Missing May ) endows the story with both compassion and caprice. Deciding to "make what he saw in his mind," the artist fashions a star, followed by heavens, then earth, etc., and finally, "a new artist in his own image. Shyly pleased with himself, he made another one. He loved the company. He made one more." Moser's design alternates stark white pages showing life-size watercolor illustrations of a pair of hands (crafting stars with scissors, sketching the human form with a fountain pen) with color-drenched panoramas of the artist's "creations." That the creator's hands are Caucasian may be inappropriate; however, a spread of the artist's "children" depicts them as a multi-ethnic assembly. All ages.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From School Library Journal
Kindergarten-Grade 3-"There once was a young artist who lived all alone, quietly, and who spent his days as most young artists do: daydreaming." What follows is a sentimental and personal vision of the Biblical Creation story. Rylant chooses her words carefully, and the text has a certain ineffable quality, but not the transcendent power of James Weldon Johnson's emotional poem, The Creation (Little, 1993), or the heroic simplicity of Leonard Everett Fisher's David and Goliath (Holiday, 1993). However, The Dreamer is a handsome, well-designed book. From the title page, sprinkled with stars, to the parchment-colored endpapers, it has a clear, open, almost pristine look that suits the text. Moser's signature watercolors include some evocative images. All that readers see is the creator's hands-cutting out stars, extending the globe of the world against the heavens, drawing with a pen. Readers are looking over the artist's shoulder, or by extension, are doing the creating themselves. The story is heartfelt, but it lacks the complexity of thought found in Rylant's novels, or even in her easy-to-read "Henry and Mudge" series (Bradbury). For libraries looking for another interpretation of the Creation story, this is a visually attractive choice, but not a first purchase.Karen James, Louisville Free Public Library, KY
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.