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Book Reviews

07. August 2017

Features, Reviews,

  

Joseph

Brian Wildsmith | Eerdmans, 1997, 34 pp., $20 | Reviewed by Bekah Mastris

What is most striking about this children’s book is Wildsmith’s vivid, colorful illustrations. Each large, gilded page is teeming with detail, particularly the scenes of Pharaoh’s courts: inviting gardens, walls, pyramids, and columns covered with bright hieroglyphics. The level of detail is reminiscent of a look-and-find book and is sure to delight and occupy little eyes (good Lord’s Day afternoon reading).

Wildsmith’s straightforward telling of Joseph’s story closely follows the biblical account, with very little commentary. The potentially awkward parts (such as the incident with Potiphar’s wife) are handled in an age-appropriate way. Though I appreciated how the text neither adds to nor takes away from Scripture, I was a little perplexed at the lack of context given. There is no mention of how Joseph’s story fits into the overall narrative of the Old Testament. The text simply begins, “Joseph was Jacob’s favorite son” without explaining who Jacob was or anything about his promise-making and promise-keeping God. Also noticeably absent is Joseph’s familiar and beloved speech from Genesis 50: “As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good.” The declaration is only very roughly paraphrased, which I found odd compared to how closely the dialogue follows the original through the ...

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