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Climbing Jacob's Ladder: Heroes of the Bible in African-American Spirituals Hardcover – September 30, 1991
From School Library Journal
Kindergarten-Grade 6-- Nine Biblical heroes--Noah, Abraham, Jacob, Moses, Joshua, David, Ezekiel, Daniel, Jonah--are featured in a slim, bright volume. A few lines of text introduce each, only hinting at their full stories, or the meaning of their heroism, or of God's actions regarding them. (This brevity can mislead: a statement that Moses was one of the ``. . . greatest leaders of the ancient world'' only makes sense in a Hebrew-centered context. Ancient Egyptians, Greeks, or Romans would not have recognized his name). For each of the nine, a suitable African-American spiritual, with full musical notation (voice and piano or guitar accompaniment) appears on the facing page. Naive, lively illustrations in brilliant hues depict the Biblical figures as African-Americans might have imagined them, in their own image and likeness, in shades ranging from cafe au lait to molasses. --Patricia Dooley, Univ . of Washington, Seattle
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From Kirkus Reviews
In the same sunny, luminous colors he used for All Night, All Day (p. 534), Bryan presents nine more spirituals, linking them with figures from Noah (``Didn't It Rain?'') to Jonah (``Wake Up! Jonah''). Brief commentaries superimposed on the paintings that face each spiritual set them in context and in the biblical genealogy (``Jacob was one of Abraham's grandsons''). Ornamental borders further diminish the space allotted to the illustrations, resulting in a somewhat cluttered effect. These double spreads don't have the handsome sweep of those in the earlier book, but they are decorative and the paintings are lovely in detail: intimate, tender moments like David singing to Saul, or Daniel's appealingly pensive lions. Another fine tribute to the African-American heritage. Piano arrangements by John Andrew Ross; notes for musicians. (Nonfiction. 4+) -- Copyright ©1991, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.