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What Star Is This? Hardcover – September 15, 2005
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K-Gr. 2. Although some purists may balk at the reinterpretation, this Nativity story offers a fresh take on the traditional Christian account: a comet approaches Earth as the time of Jesus' birth draws near, becoming the signal in the sky seen by the three wise men. Evocative illustrations elevate the occasionally awkward rhyming text to an appropriately reverential level. A crackled-varnish finish lends an antique feel to the jewel-toned paintings, and the rich colors of the deep-blue night and the golden comet suit the spiritual topic. The comet's trajectory from nearly empty space, past planets and constellations, and finally over the Earth, populated with people and animals, is reminiscent of the story of Genesis and reinforces the anticipation of the heralded birth. The final spreads showing the Holy Family in the glowing manger, with shepherds and wise men kneeling outside and the comet overhead, offer quietly joyful images of the Nativity. Diane Foote
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About the Author
"My ideas come from everywhere: a childhood drawing I did of a porcupine, a silly song I once sang to a godchild, and my teacher-niece and pupil-grand nephew getting ready for kindergarten, all kicked off an idea for a book. Now I am writing novels, and it's the same what-if approach, although the first one came out of my West Virginia boyhood. It's called Crossing the Trestle, and the young narrator faces an obstacle I did as a child."
Mr. Slate is Professor of Art Emeritus at Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio, where he taught for 30 years. He now lives in Silver Spring, Maryland, with his wife, Patty. A Marine Air Corps veteran, he and his wife have set foot on all seven continents and traveled in 39 countries. They have lived in both Japan and Italy.
"Snacking is my big vice, especially chocolate and oatmeal raisin cookies. To keep my weight down, I take tai-chi courses with a world grand master and play water volley ball."
Awards: National Bookseller's and New York Public Library's annual lists, Library of Congress citation, Ohio and Kansas State Reading Circle lists, Colorado and Wyoming School Children's 1998 Best Book finalist, 1998 Americas Commended list, Publisher's Weekly best seller list (twice), Delaware's l997 Blue Hen Award, Ohioana Library Association's Award for distinguised service in the field of children's literature.
copyright ? 2000 by Penguin Putnam Books for Young Readers. All rights reserved.
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