Many people believe God is everywhere, and He/She certainly is in this captivating book of verse. In a series of 16 poems, Cynthia Rylant imagines God wondering what it’s like to be human. To find out, God pursues a variety of very human endeavors, such as becoming a beautician, making spaghetti on a lonely night, going to the doctor and watching cable TV.
Of course, an irreverent book like this won’t be for everyone, and may offend some. That said, I found it a lovely and thought-provoking look at what it means to be human, and what it means to be godlike. There are many wonderful moments of humor, such as when God goes to the doctor: “And the doctor said, ‘You don’t need me, you’re God.’ And God said, ‘Well, you’re pretty good at playing me, I figured you’d know what the problem was.’”
Such interplay between reverence and comedy forms the heart and soul of this unique little volume. When God gets a desk job, She resorts to eating Snickers bars (37!) to get through the day: “She thought that if She had to pick up that phone one more time, She’d just start the whole Armageddon thing people keep talking about.”
Only a supremely talented team could pull off a book like this (which includes 26 poems from a collection first published in 2003). Rylant is the Newbery Award-winning author of more than 100 children’s books, including the Henry and Mudge series. Marla Frazee’s illustrations capture the humanity of each poem, along with just the right amount of godlike wonder. This gem of a book is sure to spark spirited discussions.