Beth Wyndham (Author), Mary Hendricks Kelly (Illustrator)
Hardcover, 978-1947-460-09-6, 32 pgs., $17.99
March 8, 2020
Now the Lord God had formed out of the ground all the wild animals and all the birds in the sky. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name.
So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds in the sky, and all the wild animals. Genesis 2:19-20 (NIV)
Author Beth Wyndham takes Genesis 2:19-20 and runs with it in Adam Names the Animals, a children’s picture book that will spark young readers’ imaginations and keep them engaged. Told in loose rhymes, the story depicts Adam as a young boy as he is tasked with naming all of God’s creatures. At first overwhelmed, Adam asks for and receives guidance from God, but he still finds naming the animals challenging. However, he perseveres and rewards himself with play time and then rest for completing his work.
Wyndham uses alliteration and chooses the perfect words to bring the illustrations to life, speaking of how “Adam paraded with Peacocks who swaggered and pranced,” and elephants making “trumpety sounds.” The text is complemented by the rich, vibrant illustrations of Mary Hendricks Kelly, whose tissue paper collages, accented with ink and acrylics, take center stage. Every page is truly a feast for the eyes, and children will delight in and dwell on each of them.
Though it is clearly a stylistic choice to capitalize the names of the creatures, there is some inconsistency, and adults may take issue with that choice not properly modeling the rule. The book would benefit from a light edit, but the issues are minor and don’t detract or distract from this delightful story.
Adam Names the Animals is a perfect springboard for conversation and talking points about what it might have been like for Adam or for what names children might have used if they’d been given the naming job. Parents, teachers, and educators will appreciate the teacher and parent pages, as well as the how-to instructions for creating paper collages, found on the publisher’s website. And indeed, “you’ll no doubt agree, God made a world that is wondrous to see.”
Image used with permission by publisher Material Media (www.materialmedia.com) Copyright Adam Names the Animals by Beth Wyndham and Mary Hendricks Kelly
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