Reviews for Creation
Horn Book Guide Reviews 1994
Ransome sets Johnson's spirited narrative poem in a Southern countryside, where five children sit listening to a storyteller. Punctuated between contemporary paintings of the man and his listeners are six impressionistic double-page spreads, in vibrant gold, green, and blue hues, depicting scenes of the Creation of the Earth, sky, animals, and, finally, human beings. These colorful illustrations capture the dramatic mood of Johnson's poem. Copyright 1998 Horn Book Guide Reviews
Kirkus Reviews 1994 May
~ In the spirit of Johnson's poetic voice, which Ransome describes as ``influenced by the...imagery of nineteenth-century African-American plantation preachers,'' the romantic, sun- dappled paintings here are more literal than Carla Golembe's striking, boldly stylized art for her edition (1993) of this splendid verse retelling by the well-loved poet. Pictures of an African-American preacher and his rapt audience of children alternate with handsome full-bleed spreads depicting the six days of creation: what might be the Grand Canyon; a stream rushing through rocks; a blossom-strewn forest floor beside the stream; and so on, to a dark man among the flowers. Rhythmic friezes of animals adorn the text pages of this carefully structured, realistic presentation. The style could hardly be more different from Golembe's: less provocative, more conventional and accessible, yet also painted with real artistry and conviction. It's a measure of the poem's quality that it inspires such a rich variety of responses. (Poetry/Picture book. 4+) Copyright 1999 Kirkus Reviews
School Library Journal Reviews 1994 May
Gr 1-4-An earlier edition of Johnson's fine poem of the Harlem Renaissance failed to find illustrations to match its excellence (Little, 1993). Ransome, however, has given its verbal artistry powerful visual expression. Double-page spreads of scenes from the Creation-light, earth, water, vegetation, animals, humans-alternate with the poem. Displays of text appear on the right-hand pages, bordered with repeated animal motifs. Opposite them are paintings of a storyteller under a shady tree, giving what is clearly an animated performance to a group of children. The intimacy and relative predictability of these scenes contrast effectively with the splendid movement and spacious surprises of the alternates. The division of the poem into pages is well paced, and there is a satisfying buildup to the last spread, depicting a man the ruddy brown of Georgia clay rising from a flowering meadow. The artist has avoided the pitfall of trying to show God at work, while providing a perfect creative stand-in, the benign storyteller. This book combines the sense of awe and nobility at creation with respect and wonder at human participation. It should make Johnson's poem better known, while showcasing Ransome's impressive talent.-Patricia Dooley, formerly at University of Washington, Seattle Copyright 1994 Cahners Business Information.