By Jim Paterson, Bastian Books, 2007 This is an unusual book unusual in the way it brings together word and image. Jim Paterson is both the artist and the author who invites us to join him on a journey through 10 of his paintings. Each of the paintings is a creative engagement with a biblical story and in each of the 10 chapters word and image work together to open us to fresh understanding of the old and familiar stories.

Though the title might lead you to think this is a book for children it is a work that can be enjoyed by anyone of any age. There is a whimsical quality in Paterson’s art that make us smile as we encounter familiar stories depicted in unfamiliar ways.

He makes good use of anachronisms such as a coke sign and a high-rise apartment justbehind where Noah is building his ark. The (three) wise men are pictured with their camels pausing for a rest in the desert with a oil refinery in the background, pop cans with straws sitting in pouches nestled into the saddle, while one of the wise men cooks a meal on a Coleman stove.

This is a richly illustrated book where we have not only the images of the paintings but those same works taken apart and commented upon. We learn about the symbolism in the paintings, the significance of the story, and get glimpses into the deeper meaning of these narratives and pick up theological insights along the way.

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