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In sparse, lyrical prose, Mitali Perkins—renowned Christian author of young adult novels and children’s picture books such as Bare Tree and Little Wind: A Story for Holy Week and Between Us and Abuela: A Family Story from the Borderimagines God creating the world: “One day, Creator came— / to sort the mess, / using Them to make Us. / Air. / Water. / Earth. / Fire.” Perkins goes on to relate how, in the perfection of the Garden of Eden, the natural elements “were for Us. / We were for Them.” Adam and Eve enjoyed the fresh air, the quenching rains, the fertile soil, and the flames of a cooking fire.

However, when Adam and Eve rebelled against God—“We said: ‘No, Creator!’ / We said, ‘No Creator’”—Perkins points out, the created world also fell into brokenness, and tornados, floods, earthquakes, and infernos resulted. But all was not lost: “One day, Redeemer came— / to change the mess, / using Them to serve Us.” How did Jesus our Redeemer do that? Perkins points out that Jesus used earth on blind eyes, water to wash his disciples’ feet, air to draw in a last breath—and exclaim, “It is finished”—and fire to cook fish on the shore of the Sea of Galilee after his resurrection. Perkins looks ahead to Jesus’ second coming, when all of creation will be restored and all will be “at peace— / Them and Us.”

Illustrators Kristen and Kevin Howdeshell’s vigorous, vivid artwork complement Perkins’s narrative by capturing the joy and majesty of God’s perfect creation, the despair and destruction of a fallen world, and the hope and expectation of a redeemed and restored cosmos.

(Beaming Books)

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