Simple Gifts: A Shaker Hymn

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9780805051438: Simple Gifts: A Shaker Hymn

Simple Gifts is one of the very few hymns that all Americans treasure. In churches, at graduation and wedding ceremonies, on concert and ballet stages, and especially in homes and schools, it is a perennial favorite.

Now the acclaimed and ever-innovative artist Chris Raschka has transformed this treasured Shaker hymn into a lavish picture book.

In Raschka's hands an irresistible cat, the bluebird of happiness, a sweet rabbit, a calm turtle, and the flowers that bloom, bend, and bow, all "Come 'round right."

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Review:

Chris Raschka--whose beautiful, brilliant tributes to jazz legends in Mysterious Thelonious and Charlie Parker Played Be Bop are not to be missed--pays tribute to another slice of American music history with this lovely celebration of a traditional Shaker hymn. "'Tis the gift to be simple, 'tis the gift to be free, 'tis the gift to come down where we ought to be," lilts the hymn. And Raschka translates its gentle movement to the page, scripting the lyrics in what appears to be (simply) black crayon against a band of soothing color at the top or bottom of each spread. The rest of each page is awash in warm tones and heavy strokes, depicting a cat, a bird, a squirrel, and a turtle in the abstract, primitive style of Paul Klee. In explaining how he so expertly translates music to the printed page, Raschka has said that he tries to "stick to the form of the music and let the music dictate the form of the book." Indeed. With Simple Gifts, Raschka offers readers the simple yet powerful gift of experiencing music as color, movement, and graceful pages. (Ages 4 to 8, but makes a fine addition to any grownup's favorite book collection) --Brangien Davis

About the Author:

Chris Raschka won a Caldecott Honor for Yo! Yes?, and is also the illustrator of The Genie in the Jar by Nikki Giovanni. He lives with his wife and son in New York City.

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Raschka, Chris
Published by Henry Holt & Co (1998)
ISBN 10: 0805051430 ISBN 13: 9780805051438
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Book Description Henry Holt & Co, 1998. Hard Cover. Book Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: As New. First Edition. First Printing. New condition New condition jacket. Bookseller Inventory # 087439

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Chris Raschka, Chris Raschka (Illustrator)
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