subtitle of this handsome horizontal work explains its contents well: A Picture Book on the Last Week of Jesus' Life &and His Resurrection. Starting with Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead, each of the 18 spreads contains a brief narrative and a large illustration about one of the dramatic episodes in the last week of Jesus' life. The last four pictures center around his resurrection, ending with Jesus' appearance to the disciples in the Upper Room. Haidle has done a good job condensing and simplifying the Gospel accounts. Each of her narratives retains the feeling of the biblical text, primarily that found in the Gospel of John. The dramatic tension builds to the crucifixion, and then Jesus appears at the end. A page of introduction and a concluding page make clear the evangelical thrust of the book. The last page bears the title designed to draw a decision from young readers: Will You Doubt . . . or Believe? The dramatic illustrations are obviously based on live models. Spector uses different perspectives and ranges to give variety to the scenes, e.g., a close-up of hands and money as a priest counts out the coins to Judas and a bird's-eye view from the cross as Roman soldiers gamble for Jesus' seamless robe. The nighttime scene In the Garden gives a long-range view of Roman soldiers coming up the hill as the disciples sleep. The colors throughout are rich and strong, and in some images a brilliant red is used for Jesus' blood. The art seems to be making a theological point about atonement that may alarm some children, especially those at the lower years of the 4 to 8 recommended age range. In any case, a parent will probably prefer to read He Is Alive! the first time through with the child and perhaps read additional Bible passages by way of explanation. What we choose to read to children at Easter, of course, depends on our own convictions. For Christian readers, this book seems preferable to stories about bunnies and chicks and Easter eggs. ¦ He Is Alive! By Helen Haidle Illustrated by Joel Spector Zonderkidz, $12.99 ISBN 0310700337 Review by Paula Zachary The subtitle of this handsome horizontal work explains its contents well: A Picture Book on the Last Week of Jesus' Life &and His Resurrection. Starting with Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead, each of the 18 spreads contains a brief narrative and a large illustration about one of the dramatic episodes in the last week of Jesus' life. The last four pictures center around his resurrection, ending with Jesus' appearance to the disciples in the Upper Room. Haidle has done a good job condensing and simplifying the Gospel accounts. Each of her narratives retains the feeling of the biblical text, primarily that found in the Gospel of John. The dramatic tension builds to the crucifixion, and then Jesus appears at the end. A page of introduction and a concluding page make clear the evangelical thrust of the book. The last page bears the title designed to draw a decision from young readers: Will You Doubt . . . or Believe? The dramatic illustrations are obviously based on live models. Spector uses different perspectives and ranges to give variety to the scenes, e.g., a close-up of hands and money as a priest counts out the coins to Judas and a bird's-eye view from the cross as Roman soldiers gamble for Jesus' seamless robe. The nighttime scene In the Garden gives a long-range view of Roman soldiers coming up the hill as the disciples sleep. The colors throughout are rich and strong, and in some images a brilliant red is used for Jesus' blood. The art seems to be making a theological point about atonement that may alarm some children, especially those at the lower years of the 4 to 8 recommended age range. In any case, a parent will probably prefer to read He Is Alive! the first time through with the child and perhaps read additional Bible passages by way of explanation. What we choose to read to children at Easter, of course, depends on our own convictions. For Christian readers, this book seems preferable to stories about bunnies and chicks and Easter eggs.

Paula Zachary is a stay-at-home mom who also develops material for an educational Web site. She lives in Huntsville, Alabama.

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