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Psalm Twenty-Three Hardcover – July 7, 1997
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Ages 4-8. The love, fear, and faith of one of the most beautiful psalms find expression in a picture book set in a contemporary urban neighborhood. Glowing, realistic paintings of two African American children in a warm extended family illustrate the lines of the psalm, taking the kids through one day from early morning to night. The children wake in a joyful, loving home ("The Lord is my shepherd"); have fun with their friends in the playground; receive devoted attention from their teachers ("He guides me in paths of righteousness"); and return to food and shelter ("You prepare a table before me"). But the scene is bleak. They must walk to school and back through "the valley of the shadow of death," where menacing figures lounge in wait in shadowy, crowded streets. While they eat dinner in the light, the darkness outside their window is filled with violence. The slightly modernized text is less poetic than the King James Version. The pages are so tightly bound that you miss part of the middle of each double-page-spread illustration, and that's too bad because the pictures make extraordinary use of light and perspective, showing that the children are being watched with loving attention. In a final painting, they are asleep, the window above their bed transformed into a stained-glass vision of the Lord who is their shepherd. Hazel Rochman --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.
Booklist, Top Ten Religion Books for Youth
Parent's Guide to Children's Media, Award
Parent Council, Ltd., Selected as Outstanding
"Ladwig's beautiful illustrations depict God's grace in the day-to-day activities of the members of a loving African-American family amid the ever-present dangers of an inner-city neighborhood."
"Tim Ladwig's colorful, thought-provoking illustrations evoke new contemporary images and show Psalm 23 as fresh and relevant in today's world. This book brings a powerful message of hope, faith, and comfort into a new setting."
"This lovely, reassuring book makes visible the idea of community, good people acting together to make a safe place for the young."
"A beautiful book."
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Top Customer Reviews
What struck me was that the children in this book were of African descent.
My son is white and married an African-American woman, so their children are interracial.
Their parents teach Christian principals to their children and they love God's words.
I am an art major and I was delighted by the beautifully illustrated book.
My grandchildren have many books but very few like this.
It is wonderful to have both since there are many beautiful children of all colors.
They teach them to love all people and this book helps them to feel that people of all races are God's creatures.
This book brings it home to them.
Congratulations for the fabulous book!
Ladwig has applied the ancient rural setting of this Psalm to the modern urban world. No Pollyanna portraits, Ladwig combines the bleak nature of potentially menacing city life with the comfort of God's presence.
The scenes are not so much "heavenly," as they are depictions of God's earthly provision through "Jesus with skin on"--loving parents, teachers, and other adults and extended family members.
Reviewer: Bob Kellemen, Ph.D., is the author of "Beyond the Suffering: Embracing the Legacy of African American Soul Care and Spiritual Direction."
By reading it in a picture story format, one of our children had this Psalm in its entirety easily memorized at age 2.
P.S. By the way, you may have read that at age 8, Tim Ladwig lost an eye in an accident. With that in mind, notice the scenes of the Grandmother sewing an eye back on the stuffed lamb... that just gets me every time, along with the stained glass window at the very end. Oh my! Another one to knock your socks off: "This Is the Star" by Joyce Dunbar, with breathtaking illustrations by Gary Blythe. You'll see the Nativity with a new and startling clarity that I predict will fill you with joy!!