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The Life of Jesus

Author(s): Mary Billingsley

ISBN13: 9780802853622

ISBN10: 0802853625

Publisher: W.B.Eerdmans

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  • This exquisitely beautiful book by Mary Billingsley presents the rosary for children, but I might add , for children of all ages. When I first saw a few of the paintings, I wondered if it was wise to portray Christ, Our Lady, and the other participants in the drama of the rosary as puppet or manikin figures. But the idea very much grew on me and, as I now see the final outcome of Marys work, Im completely captivated. This is a rosary book for young and old.

  • Mary Billingsley

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    Artist and childrens book newcomer Billingsley provides an introduction to the rosary in an accessible volume. Outlining the basic procedure for praying the rosary, an opening illustration depicts a set of beads labeled to indicate which prayer each represents; the full text of each prayer appears on the facing page. Billingsley offers brief, plainspoken meditations for each of the 20 mysteries (Joyful, Sorrowful, Glorious, and the recently added Luminous); her Scripture-inspired words appear between the names of the prayers, forming a sort of vertical, visual chain of text on each page. Billingsleys folk art, style illustrations are two-dimensional renderings of multimedia, still-life structures she has created from found objects (nutcrackers, wooden artists figures, and rag dolls make appearances). The artwork alternately recalls altars, shrines, or marionette stages, and focuses on such events as the Nativity, the Marriage at Cana, and the Crucifixion. Billingsleys text and art create a surprising and enlightening modern juxtaposition to this very traditional practice. All ages.

    - Publishers Weekly

    Gr 3 Up, Billingsley has divided this book according to the four "Mysteries" that are emblematic of Christs life, "Joyful," "Luminous," "Sorrowful," and "Glorious," and then into subsections about each of its five parts. The book is remarkable in the accessibility it offers to readers of all ages. The introductory page provides visual instruction, a painting of a rosary with labels and arrows indicating which beads are meant for each prayer, followed by the prayers themselves. Each Mystery is presented on a full page with a short narrative centered on white space, followed below by the name of the next recited prayer in italics. This flows to the next narrative piece and the prayer that follows it. The language is especially chosen to clarify biblical verbiage often misconstrued by children. Each left-hand facing page shows a full-color illustration of the Mystery. Billingsleys unusual technique is what stands out; she has created "shrines" of everyday objects, flowers, puppets, childrens toys arranged in a vignette, and then reproduced them in gouache. The overall effect is child-friendly but also intensely emotionally evocative. Other rosary guides for children are useful and come in more "pew friendly" formats; this book adds elements that enhance the meditative and contemplative demands of the rosary devotion.

    - Lisa Egly Lehmuller, St. Patricks Catholic School, Charlotte, NC

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The Life of Jesus

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