With a Mighty Hand
The Story in the Torah
Publication Date: August 27, 2013
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Amy Ehrlich retains the beauty, drama, and mystery of the Torah in this unique adaptation, gorgeously illustrated with paintings by Daniel Nevins.
The Torah is the first five books of the Hebrew Bible, which Christians call the Old Testament. It tells the story of the beginning of the Jewish people and their relationship with God. From Adam and Eve to the first patriarch, Abraham, to Moses, who led his people to the promised land, the stories in the Torah have been studied and revered since it was first written down nearly 3,000 years ago. Now in this glorious volume, Amy Ehrlich crafts an authentic, lyrical adaptation that is presented as a continuous narrative, one that honors the complexities of the original text. Daniel Nevins’s richly hued paintings bring the ancient wonders of the Torah to resonant life, making this truly a gift to savor, share, and treasure.
Back matter includes notes, and a bibliography, and an artist’s note..
an author’s introduction
a genealogy of the Torah
a map of the region
an artist’s note
Amy Ehrlich is an award-winning author of more than thirty books for children and young adults as well as an illustrious editor of books for young readers. Amy Ehrlich lives in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom.
"I’ve always been fascinated by the Torah — both as an object and as a work of literature. When I set out to create a version of the Torah, I wanted to make a bridge between the little fables that are presented as ‘Bible stories for children’ and the complete (and often impenetrable) text of the Torah. To do this I focused on the characters and events in the narrative and wrote it as free verse to bring forward the poetry and beauty of the language." — Amy Ehrlich
Daniel Nevins is a fine artist whose paintings have appeared in more than sixteen countries on six continents. With a Mighty Hand is his first book. Daniel Nevins lives in Asheville, North Carolina.
So beautiful and new. Ehrlich’s transcendent verse . . . renders these familiar stories as shocking, perplexing and remarkably compelling — just as they always have been.
—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
[V]eteran writer Ehrlich has taken on a mammoth job -- and she handles it impressively. ... Although the language is adapted for young people, and the more legalistic books, like Deuteronomy, are shortened, the stories remain intact, and nothing is sugarcoated. The dramatic nature of the stories demands impressive artwork, and Nevins provides it. The full-page pictures, mostly colored in the hues of desert sands and skies, feature sturdy characters, almost as if, like Adam, they’re molded from clay. Much care has been taken with the book’s dignified design. This version of the Torah will elicit thousands of questions, as it always has.
—Booklist (starred review)
[Ehrlich] has ... [broken] up the detailed text and giv[en] it more appeal to young people. Yet the integrity of the biblical tales, the sacred feel of the text, and the flow of ancient history remain intact. .... Nevins’s handsome, richly colored oil on wood paintings, freely scattered throughout the pages, range in style from graphic renderings of the burning bush to a surrealist depiction of Jacob wrestling with God. ... This beautifully executed adaptation deserves strong consideration for Judaica and public library collections.
—School Library Journal (starred review)
A child poring over these handsomely designed pages, made vivid with Daniel Nevins's autumn-toned paintings, will get a sense of the importance of lineage and ceremony in the Jewish faith without having to struggle through complicated dietary laws or confusing lists of "begats."
—The Wall Street Journal
Ehrlich succeeds admirably in an ambitious effort to "write a version of the Torah" by teasing out the narrative thread of Yahweh’s covenant with Israel and following it "through thickets of genealogy, law, and ritual." ... Beautiful craftsmanship makes this an excellent title for gift giving, but consider it also as a wonderful selection for young people who would like to reconnect their scriptural puzzle pieces into one vibrant picture.
—Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
This is not your typical children’s illustrated Bible. Veteran author Amy Ehrlich’s With A Mighty Hand elevates the genre for all ages. Ehrlich retells the five books of Moses in language that is poetic, rhythmic, sophisticated, and accessible. The beauty of the words is matched by the stunning illustrations, each one a midrash on the texts. This Torah adaptation is a treasure!
—Cantor Angela W. Buchdahl, Central Synagogue, New York, NY
With a Mighty Hand is incredibly moving. The love and respect and joy that went into its making from the author and the artist and everyone involved just rises off the page. Truly, the book invites the reader into a pause, a hush, and an entirely awesome kind of journey. This is Candlewick magic at its finest.
—Gigi Amateau, author of Come August, Come Freedom
[A] beautiful book to look at: Daniel Nevins's paintings are lively and provocative. I've never seen a more arresting manifestation of Jacob's all-night wrestling match; I looked at the rainbow illustration of the burning bush for a full minute before turning the page. ... [I]t would have been nice, growing up, to have a volume like 'With a Mighty Hand': visually pleasing and stripped of confusing matter that could threaten any child's understanding, attention span and ultimate captivation. 'With a Mighty Hand' is a great transitional Torah -- something between an illustrated book of Bible stories for children and the full heft of the actual Five Books of Moses, still told in its own words, on its own terms, making what was once intimidating palatable.
—The New York Times Book Review
This is a beautiful example of fine bookmaking, from the embossed dust jacket to the thick, lush pages, wide margins and golden design at the corner of every page.
—Greensboro News & Record
With a Mighty Hand retells the stories in the Bible illustrated with expressive, richly colored paintings by Daniel Nevins. ... Each Parasha is described clearly and concisely making the Torah and ancient Jewish history more understandable to the young reader. The essence of each of the Torah personalities is eloquently presented and clearly communicated, resulting in a greater understanding of Jewish heritage.
—Jewish Book World