Cover image for Let there be light
Let there be light
Tutu, Desmond.
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Publication Information:
Grand Rapids, Michigan : Zonderkidz, [2013]
Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) ; 24 x 28 cm
Nobel Peace Prize-winning archbishop vividly portrays the wonder and beauty of the biblical story of God's work during the seven days of creation.
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BS651 .T88 2013 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf

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"In the very beginning, God's love bubbled over when there was nothing else--no trees, no birds, no animals, no sky, no sea--only darkness."

Let There Be Light combines the love and warmth of Nobel Peace Prize Winner Archbishop Desmond Tutu with the extraordinary talents of bestselling author and illustrator Nancy Tillman. This retelling of the biblical story of creation vividly portrays the wonder and beauty of God's creation on each of the seven days. Using Archbishop Tutu's lyrical text from the Children of God Storybook Bible and Tillman's remarkable illustrations, Let There Be Light brings the story of creation to life for readers young and old.

Author Notes

Desmond Tutu was born October 7, 1931 in Klerksdorp, Transvaal, South Africa. He attended Johannesburg Bantu High School. After leaving school he trained first as a teacher at Pretoria Bantu Normal College and graduated in 1954 from the University of South Africa.

After three years as a high school teacher he began to study theology, and was ordained as a priest in 1960. From 1962 to 1966 Tutu devoted his time to further theological study in England at King's College, eventually earning a Master's of Theology. From 1967 to 1972 he taught theology in South Africa before returning to England for three years as the assistant director of a theological institute in London. In 1975 he was appointed Dean of St. Mary's Cathedral in Johannesburg, the first black to hold that position. From 1976 to 1978 he was Bishop of Lesotho, and in 1978 became the first black General Secretary of the South African Council of Churches.

Tutu won the Nobel Peace Prize on October 15, 1984 for his role in the opposition to apartheid in South Africa. He was then elected Archbishop of Cape Town in April of 1986, the highest position in the South African Anglican Church. Tutu is also an honorary doctor of various universities in the USA, Britain and Germany.

He is the author of the best seller, The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World, with the Dalai Lama XIV and Douglas Carlton Abrams.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

It is not surprising that in retelling the creation story, South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu focuses on the power of light, an essential element in many religions. The text is taken from Tutu's Children of God Storybook Bible (2010), but the illustrations give it a fresh look, with the theme of illumination permeating all of Tillman's photographlike illustrations, from the stunning sun to the fullness of the clouds to even the heart of a flower. When people finally appear children here they are depicted with crowns of light, the kings and queens of creation as well as the keepers of it. There is a softness to Tillman's palette that adds warmth to this inspirational work as it highlights the natural world with realistic portrayals of landscapes, animals, and children. Readers are reminded that God clapped his hands and laughed on the final day before he rested and that they are loved. Tutu and Tillman precede the text with notes to their readers. This has universal appeal.--Ching, Edie Copyright 2014 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

Drawing text from Tutu's 2010 Children of God Storybook Bible, Tillman (On the Night You Were Born) imagines a cosmos called into being by a humanlike entity suffused with lights and clouds. The illustrator's luminous, photorealistic style adds an intriguing edge to Tutu's friendly theology. When he writes that "the first flower opened in all its glory," Tillman zooms in on a daffodil with delicately veined petals and a cup filled with the almost blinding radiance of God; a reference to the creation of "cats and mice" on the sixth day inspires a painting of a lion and white mice that has the physicality of a museum diorama. As is often the case in books of this genre, the appearance of humans is something of a letdown: multicultural children are shown wearing glowing crowns and what appears to be a combination of native dress and Sunday School pageant costumes. Tutu is more original and eloquent: "I will make people, and I'll make them like me so they can enjoy the earth and take care of it." Ages 4-8. (Jan.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

School Library Journal Review

PreS-Gr 4-Archbishop Tutu's version of the creation story first appeared in his Children of God Storybook Bible (Zonderkids, 2010). The retelling of the first chapter of Genesis is both accessible and poetic, with the emphasis being on God's love. Tillman, best known for her "You Are Loved" trilogy (Feiwel and Friends), brings her signature style to the digitally rendered illustrations. The colors are bright yet misty, with no sharp edges or lines to be found, resulting in a dream-like atmosphere. Her renderings of wild animals are particularly well executed, and a keen observer will find images hiding in clouds. When people appear, they all wear crowns, a conceit that Tillman employed in The Crown on Your Head (Feiwel & Friends, 2011) that may prove puzzling to those unfamiliar with the earlier work. It's a lovely book, suitable for larger collections where religious material is in high demand.-Grace Oliff, Ann Blanche Smith School, Hillsdale, NJ (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.