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He's Got the Whole World in His Hands Hardcover – September 8, 2005
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From School Library Journal
Starred Review. PreSchool-Grade 2–Nelson's vibrant signature illustrations rendered in pencil, oil, and watercolor breathe new meaning and life into this favorite Sunday school spiritual in which families, communities, and forces of nature are celebrated with lively images and inspiring scenes. The cover painting of an African-American boy against a colorful landscape beckons readers inside to discover the wonders of creation. With each page turn and line of verse, Nelson gives fresh, thought-provoking interpretations to the lyrics that will stir the imagination and spark discussion. For example, He's got my brothers and my sisters in His hands depicts the boy, present throughout the book, holding a childlike drawing of people of different races and skin tones, suggesting the notion that all humanity should be viewed as brothers and sisters. The simple, repetitious flow of the words and the refrain make this an excellent read-aloud choice as well as a sing-along favorite. A moving, artistic celebration of our world and the people who share in its splendors.–Tracy Bell, Eastway Elementary School, Durham, NC
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
*Starred Review* PreS-Gr. 2. This picture book's surprisingly intimate interpretation of the well-known spiritual makes it accessible to young children and their own "whole world." Nelson uses pencils, oils, and watercolors to create a series of striking, beautifully composed pictures. The opening scene of sun just visible beyond the arc of the earth in space gives way to a San Francisco cityscape with the sun against the skyline. With the words, "He's got my brothers and my sisters in His hands," the pictures introduce an African American boy holding up a childlike portrait of his multi-ethnic family. His fingers on the sides of the picture visually echo God's hands supporting his brothers and sisters in the song. A series of double-page spreads show the boy with family (particularly his father) engaged in a variety of activities: flying kites, fishing, doing a jigsaw puzzle of the earth. In the end, the scenes move away from the immediate family, enlarging the child's vision to include a park full of people, a hillside of homes by the bay, and finally, a shuttle's-eye view of the earth's curve, with the moon and stars lying beyond. The last double-page spread carries the piano music and four verses of the song, followed by a historical note. Winner of the Coretta Scott King Award for illustration for Ellington Was Not a Street (2004), Nelson envisions the song in a highly personal and involving manner while embodying its strength and spirit. Carolyn Phelan
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Top customer reviews
The lyrics to this spiritual-turned-favorite-hymn provide all the text. Written music is also provided on the last page. The illustrations are what truly make this book exceptional. Award-winning artist Kadir Nelson chose San Francisco as his setting. The illustrations feature a multiethnic family living in and engaging the world from a child's perspective.
What I Like: Everything! The colors, the size, the diversity, the message of faith and community. The illustations are magnificent! The entire book is quite striking. I love it! Better yet my kids do too. :)
What I Dislike: Nothing.
Overall Rating: Excellent.
Tanya -- Christian Children's Book Review