Reviews for All Things Bright and Beautiful
Horn Book Guide Reviews 2004 Fall
Vojtech's lovely art, which illustrates Alexander's classic hymn honoring God's work in creating the world, features a girl and boy exploring an idyllic countryside setting, but the flora and fauna take center stage. The wide borders that surround each double-page spread teem with plants and animals and command as much attention as the images they frame. Copyright 2004 Horn Book Guide Reviews.
Kirkus Reviews 2004 February #2
Bright and beautiful watercolor illustrations and a large format with a thoughtful design combine to bring new life to the old words of this familiar hymn written in 1848. The rhyming text attributes everything under the sun to God's creation, from "all creatures great and small" to the tallest mountain, and from the general (the wind, the seasons) to the specific (each little bird and each ripe fruit). The cheerful illustrations on double-page spreads contain a central panel that specifically illustrates the relevant text surrounded by a large border that includes related flowers, trees, and wildlife. A sister and brother pair and their spotted dog are shown in each central panel, while a pair of mice provides a continuous thread in the borders throughout. The large, luminous illustrations make this an ideal choice for reading aloud to a group, and the short, simple text could also be sung, though the music for the hymn is not included. (Picture book/nonfiction. 3-7) Copyright Kirkus 2004 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.
Publishers Weekly Reviews 2004 March #5
Alexander's beloved 1848 ode to the natural wonders of God's creation receives a fresh treatment via Vojtech's (Over the Meadow) expansive watercolor paintings in this handsome, square-format book. As the seasons change, two children and their dog hike over hill and dale, frolic in a meadow and build a snowman, all the while admiring the flora and fauna. Each spread is wall-to-wall color, introducing a verse couplet and a wide-angle panorama, usually featuring the kids in action. An equally detailed border around the compositions extends the text to a mouse family's point of view. From those two varying perspectives, bees buzz, flowers wave in the wind, apples ripen. Using a predominantly sunny palette, Vojtech offers a cast of slightly anthropomorphic creatures (smiling bears and mice) joined by more realistic renderings of birds, insects and plants. Intriguingly, not all spreads show simultaneous events. For example, the spread illustrating "The cold wind in the winter,/ The pleasant summer sun" features a pond; the left half shows children skating and playing in snow, while the right half depicts the kids embracing puppies, a mother duck and ducklings paddling in the pond and robins singing in a blossoming tree. On the following spread ("The ripe fruits in the garden/ He made them every one"), the left page returns to the same pond site in summer, the right page in fall, when the children harvest apples from the tree. This inviting portrait of the great outdoors is perfect for perusing-and may even prompt youngsters to commit Alexander's words to memory. Ages 4-8. (Mar.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Publishers Weekly Reviews 2006 January #5
"Alexander's beloved 1848 ode to the natural wonders of God's creation receives a fresh treatment via Vojtech's expansive watercolor paintings in this handsome, square-format book," PW wrote. Ages 3-up. (Mar.) [Page 72]. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
School Library Journal Reviews 2004 November
PreS-Gr 3-While there are other lovely illustrated versions of this 19th-century song, Vojtech's glorious edition is a worthy choice. The familiar words are brought to life in spreads that include two pictures, one framed inside the other. The outer picture is less a border than an enhancement of the inner image. For example, the first pages show a girl and a boy looking out over a field filled with a variety of animals, and close-ups of the creatures are scattered around the outer frame. For "All things wise and wonderful,/the Lord God made them all," the larger painting shows a family of swans swimming in a pond where frogs gamble and large dragonflies flit about. The outer image flows beyond the water to the woods and sky nearby. Viewers' eyes are drawn back and forth between the two scenes, following a turtle's path across a branch and the dragonfly's tail bursting out of the frame. The watercolors are fresh and richly drawn with fine details such as the veins on a lady slipper and the whiskers of a mouse. The book concludes with stargazing children and fireflies sparkling in the night sky. A wonderful addition that readers will return to again and again.-Bina Williams, Bridgeport Public Library, CT Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.