Janeen Brady’s The Creation, with illustrations by Bonnie Oswald, is a picture book retelling of the creation story found in Genesis. Presented in rhyming verse, it takes us from the point where formless, void earth (Jeremiah 4:23), leading us through the steps of creation, and ends with a brief mention of the fall of Adam and the teaser, “they had to leave Eden and that changed it all. But we’ll leave that story for some other time. Perhaps we will find it in some other rhyme.”
I appreciate that as each of the seven days detailed in The Bible is described and illustrated the scriptural reference is also provided. The illustrations are striking—richly-colored with the choppy crayon-strokes of a fantastic coloring book reinforce the theme of creating art and beauty for the sake of glorying in its own majesty. Each day’s illustration reflects the most fitting colors for what aspect of creation was born during its span. Deep blues and purples, along with rusty tones, dramatize the second day, the creation of firmament. The range of the changing seasons are demonstrated by one tree that is pictured in four panels—deeply green-leafed and surrounded by bright flowers in summer; barren, reaching branches to drink the snow in winter; pale-green promises at the tips of those branches bare delicate buds in the Spring; and volcanic orange-reds bring the point home in Fall’s portrait.
An additional benefit is that the more difficult words are explained. For example, “He called it the firmament; that’s an odd word. We call it atmosphere; that’s one you’ve heard, with waters above it, and waters below, waters that turn into rain, even snow.” The author takes care to emphasize that the earth was created for us, that we have the ability to reason and the freedom to choose to obey our creator or not. On the last page she explains the care and thought involved in the creation of all living things, exhorting young readers to serve God, who designed it all out of love for His children.
It is always good to remind our little ones that they did not pop into existence by chance, but were borne of loving parents, both in Spirit and flesh.