by Gilchrist, Jan Spivey (ILT)

Madelia would rather be painting with her new watercolors than going to church, but as she listens to her father's sermon, she is glad she came

Ages 4^-8. Based on Gilchrist's relationship with her preacher father, this moving picture book dramatizes a child's religious experience and connects it with her artistic inspiration. Madelia does not want to go to church. She would rather be painting with her new watercolors, copying the pictures in her daddy's Bible. She hopes the service doesn't last long. Then Daddy's sermon begins to move her. She knows he is speaking directly to her. As he sings and speaks with the beat from the piano and the echoes of the congregation, he tells a powerful story that makes her see the tree of heaven and hear the wind and feel herself riding a chariot through the storm to the luminous clouds. Afterward, on the way home, she remembers the colors of her vision: "She wouldn't need to copy her daddy's Bible." Gilchrist's watercolors show and tell her story. Her strong, realistic portraits of the preacher father and the rapt, listening child give way to the swirling impressionistic paintings of her spiritual journey. ((Reviewed October 1, 1997)) Copyright 2000 Booklist Reviews

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