Thursday, December 6, 2007

We Three Kings

WE THREE KINGS; Gennady Spirin; New York: Atheneum, 2007; unpaged. Picture Book.

Gennady Spirin's sumptuous illustrations of John Hopkins, Jr.'s Christmas carol are simply ravishing. The colors are rich and deep, and the detail exquisitely rendered. The wise men in this book travel on camels, and elephants, accompanied by a horse guard, and in a large company of retainers, so Spirin has plenty of pageantry for his baroque sensibilities. I felt a little gypped because Spirin's picture of the angelic choir repeats with the refrain, so the same set of angels appears on six double page spreads. I would have liked to have seen more and different angels, but that's a quibble in the grand scheme.

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