Cover image for Creation
McDermott, Gerald.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Dutton Children's Books, [2003]

Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 30 cm
General Note:
Based on Genesis 1:1 through 2:3 of the Hebrew Bible, Enuma Elish, the illuminated Bibles Moralisées, Sarajevo Haggadaah.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 1.5 0.5 74300.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Central Library PIC.BK. Juvenile Fiction Childrens Area-Picture Books
Central Library PIC BK Juvenile Fiction Central Closed Stacks
Clarence Library PIC.BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
East Aurora Library PIC.BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
Eggertsville-Snyder Library PIC.BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
Kenmore Library PIC.BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
Orchard Park Library PIC.BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
Anna M. Reinstein Library PIC.BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
Audubon Library PIC.BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books

On Order



In the beginning there was nothing, only darkness. Then came light, water, earth, sun, moon, and stars. Creatures swam in the sea, crawled in the grass, and moved over the land. Man and Woman were created to be the keepers of this beauty. All this was a gift to them. Rich in color, shapes, and textures, Gerald McDermott's meditation on the creation story from Genesis is a gift to readers of all ages. Parents, educators, and art collectors will welcome this glorious celebration of the creative spirit and of life itself.

Author Notes

Gerald McDermott was born January 31, 1941 in Detroit, Michigan. He began studying art when he was admitted to a class at one of the nation's finest museums, the Detroit Institute of Arts, when he was just four years old. He continued pursuing his passion for art at Cass Tech, a public high school for the gifted. Upon graduation, he was awarded a National Scholastic scholarship to New York's Pratt Institute. He took a leave of absence during his junior year to become the first graphic designer for Channel 13, New York's educational television station, the year it went on the air. He also designed and directed his first animated film, The Stonecutter. He then toured Europe, visiting and exchanging ideas with filmmakers in England, France, and Yugoslavia.

He returned to Pratt to finish his degree in 1964 and began producing and directing a series of animated films on folklore. It was then that he met Joseph Campbell, who served as the consultant on four of McDermott's films. McDermott then began to adapt his films into picture books. His first book, Anansi the Spider: A Tale from the Ashanti, was named a Caldecott Honor Book. His other books include Arrow to the Sun: A Tale from the Pueblo that won the 1975 Caldecott Medal, Raven: A Trickster Tale from the Pacific Northwest, another Caldecott Honor Book, and Musicians of the Sun. He died on December 26, 2012 at the age of 71.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

PreS-Gr. 2. Lately occupied with trickster tales from around the world, author-illustrator McDermott here tells of the first and greatest sleight of hand, the creation of the universe. Drawing on Genesis 1:1 through 2:3 of the Hebrew Bible, as he says in an author's note, with an eye towards its antecedents in the Near East, McDermott uses the rich textures of his gesso-and-fabric paintings and a suitably wide color spectrum (with a Mexican tint) to make this grand abstraction come alive. Swirling with activity, the book will appeal to young readers and listeners who like to think big. As the narrator puts it at the start, I was before time. I was everywhere. There was nothing. I was there. Darkness progresses to light to water to the earth and all its life. There are few surprises here, but McDermott's paintings are gorgeous, particularly one in which the first bit of land emerges, a fertile island mound covered with trees, grasses, and flowers. The image, smaller and slightly altered on several subsequent spreads, becomes the basis for McDermott's colorful parade of birds and beasts that emerge in glorious colors. I am all this. / All this I AM is a powerful, fitting end. --Abby Nolan Copyright 2003 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

Caldecott Medalist McDermott (Arrow to the Sun) melds echoes of Genesis and other sources with his own poetic imagery for a lyrical, mystical Creation tale told in the first person; as he puts it in an author's note, "The voice of the story is an inner one... a spark ignited within us all." That narrative voice begins, "I was before time. I was everywhere. I was nothing. I was there. My spirit moved over the deep. I floated in darkness." Simple, restrained and elegaic, the text accompanies a stunning series of color-saturated, densely textured gesso and fabric paintings that play out on dramatic black backdrops. McDermott visually tracks the arc of Creation via the gradual introduction of pigment on the pages, beginning with neutral shades of gray, on through aquas and mossy greens for the sea and the earth, and intensifying the compositions with swirls of orange and plum and yellow and blue for the sun and stars ("I put shining lights in heaven"), then reds and emerald and browns added for the birds and beasts. Fluid shapes take form at the same time, with the circle of earth repeated in rounded swirls and graceful lines that underpin the dreamy visual images. Masterfully executed, this will kindle and fuel much thought. Ages 5-up. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

Gr 3 Up-McDermott casts the story of creation in strong poetic text and sweeping vibrant views. A nebulous, cometlike swirl fills the black opening vista. "I was before time. I was everywhere. There was nothing. I was there." Dramatic shifts of somber color mark the first few abstract scenes. Then they burst into deep tones of orange, blue, green, and brown against black as life-forms fill the void. The use of gesso on fabric lends a rich texture to the bold compositions. The circular dimensions of Earth, Sun, and Moon are echoed in the rolling sweep of heavens, seasons, and great bands of animal life-soaring birds and the creatures swimming in the sea, crawling in the grass, and moving over the land. Then, in spare form, man and woman face a rainbow arc and the Sun. "I gave my gifts to them. They would be the keepers of all this beauty." In a summation, the creatures swirl again around the small, dancing figures of the woman and man filling an earthen ball. Finally, an embryonic figure in a small orange orb announces emphatically, "I am all this. All this I AM." Sumptuous, rhythmic, and mystical, this book is arresting and evocative. Each page commands and absorbs readers' attention, though the large, square volume, once opened, is somewhat awkward to handle. An author's note makes broad reference to Eastern and European religious traditions as well as the Hebrew Bible. Readers of many ages and philosophical persuasions will find much to savor in this universal episode.-Margaret Bush, Simmons College, Boston (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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