on 3 February 1999
As an artist with an Master's degree in painting, I was amazed by the stunning reproductions in this "children's" book, and kept looking at it, and looking at it. The reproductions are so vivid, the text so appropriate, and the book so well designed that I could almost imagine I was walking through the chapel myself. It was the first time I'd seen the frescos in an order the artist intended, which made them even more powerful. Eventually the book went to a friend who admires frescos, but there was such a sense of intimacy in it that I've been searching for another copy for well over a year. The text and the images meld beautifully, and I can honestly say it's the first story of Christ's life I've seen where I felt the illustrations or text didn't "get in the way". Even if you're a fesco fan who's more interested in Giotto than in the story, tear up your check for that expensive art book and buy this first.
on 20 November 1997
Are you looking for a book to read to your children to share your faith, tell the story of Christ, and inspire your child and yourself to feel the joys of giving, forgiveness, commitment, and love? This is THE book for you. L'Engle's extraodinary and inspiring writing style was never so beautiful as in this faithful retelling of the Gospels. It uses both simple, everyday language and the more complex quotes of the Bible to render a tale that is both easy to read and mystical- a hard task in Children's Bible literature. Her comments on the feelings and activities of both Jesus and others are so spiritually aware that adults will end up thinking about it long after the book is finished. In particular, her thoughts on Judas and his motivation were thoughtful, compassionate, and shed the first positive light I have ever seen given to this character. She brings up points I had never considered--- After Jesus rose He said "Peace be with you" not "Where were you when I needed you" - with such simplicity that one can't help wonder why they didn't consider it before. Along side L'Engle's rich prose is artwork beautiful enough to be awed over by adults, but detailed enough you'll laugh as children comment, "Hey, Lazarus really looks dead!" "The Glorious Impossible" is beautiful, gentle, rich, and assuring- a perfect book to introduce not only Christ but what he taught as well.
on 4 September 1998
As an art educator, church librarian, and special lecture person who links art with religion at my church, I can highly recommend this gorgeous book to you. Madeleine L'Engle is one of my favorite writers and she presents the life of Christ in flowing prose. I even picked up a few facts I did not know. The book is illustrated using various panels from the Scrovegni Chapel in Padua, Italy which adds sumptuousness to its narrative. As a child I was drawn to picture books like this because of their medieval, almost Oriental appearance, so if you wish to influence your children to appreciate a good story well told and illustrated, select this book. The text is on an 9-13 year old level. The "glorious impossible" is something that cannot be explained but only rejoiced in, and I think that sums up God's gift of Jesus to us in a very satisfying way. Enjoy.