All things bright and beautiful; all creatures great and small; all things wise and wonderful, the incredible Ashley Bryan illustrates them all!
Bryan’s artwork is at its best in this interpretation of the title’s famous hymn, written by nineteenthcentury Irish poet Cecil Alexander to a seventeenth-century melody. The bright, swirling, colored-paper collage images focus on earth’s creatures, in the sea, on land, and in the sky, as well as on the connections between them. The images come to a climax in a gorgeous, double-page spread of two young girls, one black, one white, celebrating who they are and what they see in the world: children, flowers, mountains, trees, stars, the moon, and the sun. Using the musical score printed on the last page, grown-ups can sing along as they share the book with young kids, who will want to point to the small details in every scene even as they absorb the sweeping sense of the interconnected world. From deep-sea views of a whale and fish to soaring scenes of a purple mountaintop, the rainbow theme is constant and extends to pictures of an arch that fills the sky and beams that glow from the open pages of a book. On other spreads, children of all races celebrate sunset and morning, the winter wind and summer sun, and lush gardens, with the words that God almighty made them all. A beautiful celebration of the elemental creation story. — Hazel Rochman, BOOKLIST, March 1, 2010, STAR