Jerusalem Sky: Stars, Crosses and Crescents

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9780385746892: Jerusalem Sky: Stars, Crosses and Crescents
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Jerusalem–ancient home to Jews, Christians, and Muslims–is blanketed by a sky like no other. According to legend, the Jerusalem sky held off the rains for seven years while King Solomon built his temple. In the Jerusalem sky, the Bible tells us, a rising star announced the birth of Jesus. Through that same wondrous sky, Islamic belief holds, Muhammad climbed to heaven. In our own times, the Jerusalem sky fills with the sounds of worshippers praying for peace in the synagogues, churches, and mosques below. And each year new voices rise up to the Jerusalem sky, where so many miracles have been witnessed.

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About the Author:

Mark Podwal is the author and illustrator of numerous books, including A Sweet Year. His art has appeared in publications such as The New York Times. He lives in New York City.

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*Starred Review* Gr. 3-5. The religious history of Jerusalem is as omnipresent in the sky above, as it is in the city itself. In short, with beautiful poems and vivid, impressionistic artwork, Podwal captures the hope and tears the city evokes among followers of the three monotheistic religions of the world. Calling on both history and myth ("Some believe that halfway between heaven and earth, the Jerusalem sky is home to a city with walls of silver, gates of pearl, and streets of gold"), Podwal paints word pictures of Jerusalem's special nature and explains why Judaism, Christianity, and Islam hold it holy. For instance, "Christians tell of a wondrous star in the Jerusalem sky . . . . And they tell how thirty-three years later, a spring afternoon's daylight blackened into a starless sky." The pictures hint of Chagall, with readers using their softer sight to make out the images. The colors, though, are vivid: the pinks and golds of the city's stones, the oranges and greens from the groves, and the myriad blues of the sky. Put this in the hands of children, and talk to them about hope rather than hostilities. Ilene Cooper
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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