Through this powerful series of illustrations, artist Tim Ladwig delivers the inspirational message of hope and rebirth found in the Twenty-Third Psalm. The words of the ancient psalm seem even more relevant against the backdrop of the inner city.
by Tim Ladwig
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Publisher: Eerdmans, William B. Publishing Company
Pub. Date: January 1997
Recommend Age Range: 5 to 8
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, Booklist
LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.