Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Children's Books: Women of the Bible by Margaret McAllister

Women of the BibleWomen of the Bible by Margaret McAllister

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

"Rescuing animals is only the start of it," said Mother Noah. She scooped up a handful of seeds and placed them carefully in her pocket. "If God wants to send a flood, it's very good of him to ask Noah to put the animals in a boat. But then what do you do with them?"


But however hard it [work] was, every day brought something good. On day ten the tigers realized that she was a friend and stopped trying to eat her. On day eleven the parrots learned to say, "Move over!" which saved Mother Noah a lot of shouting. On day fifteen the chimpanzees had a very silly half hour with Ham's hat and Mr. Noah's whistle. ...
I have a real antipathy toward things that are yanked out of perspective and told from some "special" point of view, usually to empower some group. I encounter this a lot in feminist perspectives where predictable and myopic points of view bore me to tears.

So you can imagine the shiver that ran down my spine when I saw the title Women of the Bible. I read the first story, Mother Noah, to see how it fit into that feminist construct. And was pleased to see it did no such thing. Furthermore I was delighted to find it humorous, relatable, true to Genesis, and opened up my mental image of life aboard the ark. I continued, enchanted, through stories of Rachel's worry about Jacob's meeting with Esau, Miriam's following her baby brother Moses floating in the river, Mary's four special things kept in a box to sink in her mind the great turning points in her life, and many more.

Each story is told in a different way and from a different perspective. Each is accompanied by truly enchanting illustrations by Alida Massari which made me go looking for other books she's worked on.

Most importantly, each story would make a wonderful story time with your favorite little ones, whether girls or boys. They encourage questions and wonder and "entering into" familiar Bible stories from an imaginative point of view.

Highly recommended.

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