By Nancy Wood, Illustrations by Timothy Basil Ering
Ages 5 and up, Grades K and up
Candlewick Press, 2006
Cooperative Children’s Book Center Choices Award
Have you ever tried reading the familiar and comforting Psalm 23 with a tiny change in pronoun from ‘He’ to ‘She’? Try it! Adding that one letter ‘s’ is like watching a flower open right before your eyes. The same kind of joyful surprise unfolds here in Mr. and Mrs. God in the Creation Kitchen. The Bible includes masculine and feminine images of God. In Nancy Wood’s re-imagining of the creation story, these aspects of God toil side-by-side as a married couple collaborating on their greatest work yet – Earth. Timothy Basil Ering’s water color illustrations play light against dark with just enough color that the story explodes into illustrations that are scientific and inspired, mysterious and simple. The ultimate strong girl, Mrs. God, pretty much rules the Creation Kitchen and, clearly, Mr. God adores her. He makes the sun, which inspires her to whip up the earth. To please his wife, Mr. God makes hideous dinosaurs, but Mrs. God is not happy and sets about to make something beautiful to counter his “mistake.” But, a bigger mistake follows and another until at last, Mrs. God is pleased with her husband’s efforts to please her. In the Creation Kitchen, Husband and Wife are equal. They bake alongside each other, sharing their opinions and suggestions lovingly, doing their best work when they do it together. Every year for Christmas, I pick one picture book to share with the children in my life. In 2006, I gave out Nancy Woods’ and Timothy Basil Ering’s Creation Kitchen because this book invites us to explore new images of God, deepen our experience of God, and celebrate a God who rejoices in laughter, mistakes, starting over, and working together. GA
Author, poet, and photography Nancy Wood passed away on March 12, 2013. Read more about her life and her work in School Library Journal’s tribute.