Stories of Heaven and Earth
Bible Heroes in Contemporary Children's Literature
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Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Number of Pages: 288
Stories of Heaven and Earth is intended to be a helpful resource for parents, librarians, teachers, and clergy. It offers a critical examination of children's picture books based on stories from the Old Testament, as well as an analysis of these stories as powerful tales of emotional development. The book focuses on a select group of well-known biblical characters, including Adam and Eve, Noah, Moses, Joseph, David, Jonah and Esther. In this original work, the authors make a cogent argument for why these stories matter. Emphasis is placed on the power of these stories as a source of literature rich in universal archetypes, ethical dilemmas, decision-making, rites-of-passage, and emotional growth. Drawing on connections to familiar fairy tales, folklore and mythology through the work of scholars like Joseph Campbell and Bruno Bettelheim, as well as the work of recognized theorists in the fields of child development and children's literature, the authors show how Bible Stories offer children critically important models of the journey from childhood into adulthood, from dependence to independence. Stories of Heaven and Earth shows how bible stories allow children to become the heroes of their own lives as they make the difficult but essential transition from childhood to adolescence and into adulthood.
"The Persons' study is based on a sample drawn principally from around 1980 to the present and is, in this sense, a synchronic study about how these particular Bible stories look to contemporary readers. The Persons' description accurately analyzes what is currently available, and it provides a useful yardstick for understanding how particular children's Bible story fits among contemporary tellings of the same story." Ruth B. Bottigheimer, Shofar: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Jewish Studies, Vol. 26, No. 2, Winter 2008 --Sanford Lakoff