Grimes bases this striking interpretation of the Genesis creation stories on Hebrews 1:1-2: “In these last days [God] has spoken to us by a Son… through whom he also created the worlds.” Her approach is simultaneously intimate and archetypal: “Once upon a time there was no time…. There was only darkness and the waters of the deep and a father and son who watched over them.” The son is at the heart of the tale, performing the acts of creation; the approving father names each of the son’s works. Grimes captures the essence of a father/son relationship, with its mutual love and admiration, while also conveying the unique status of this particular father/son dynamic. Her lyrical gifts are everywhere in abundance, set out with a deceptive simplicity that evokes an oral tradition; fittingly, Morin’s mixed-media illustrations also evoke the art of oral cultures. His animals, fish and flowers look as if they are made of fabric, embroidered or woven, painted on clay; the vivid colors look dyed; the patterns and designs conjure up images of indigenous art from around the world. This story speaks to the heart of Christian theology, stirringly depicting God’s passionate love for creation, a love that would consent to become sacrificial—these complex lessons are implied, and the graceful delivery of sophisticated themes and imagery will entice readers to delve for such deeper meanings.
Nikki Grimes began penning poetry at the age of six. Her many award-winning titles include the picture books Talkin’ About Bessie: The Story of Aviator Elizabeth Coleman, which won the Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award and a Coretta Scott King Author Honor, and Meet Danitra Brown, which won a Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor. Coretta Scott King Author Honors went to her novels The Road to Paris, Jazmin’s Notebook, and Dark Sons, and her novel Bronx Masquerade won the Coretta Scott King Author Award. She lives in Corona, California.