Thursday, June 26, 2014

Book Review: The Longest Night

The Longest Night. Laurel Snyder. Illustrated by Catia Chien. 2013. Random House. 40 pages. [Source: Library]

Every morning with the light…
Came another day like night.
In the heat and blowing sand,
Each gray dawn my work began…
Spreading mortar thick on stone,
I built someone else a home.
All around me, eyes to ground,
Other children trudged around.

The Longest Night is a Passover story told from the perspective of a child-slave. It is told completely in rhyme. For better or worse. Readers get a glimpse of her life as a slave, before the ten plagues came, before the Israelites were delivered from slavery in Egypt. Readers also get a very unique perspective on the plagues. Unique does not always means it matches up with the Exodus account.

The only part that surprised me about this one, and it is really only one page, is the very violent-looking illustration of a wolf: "Then the wolves ran through the street, sniffing at our door for meat. That night I had dreams of claws, matted fur and hungry jaws." Presumably the wolves are reacting to the "itching, biting, awful fleas" from the previous page. I remember gnats and flies and locusts. Fleas I don't precisely recall. It surprised me because I had not heard wolves associated with the plagues or passover. So to turn a page and see those teeth!!! Here's a site that explains more about the wild beasts/wolves. Very fascinating!

The storytelling was very nice. I did enjoy the illustrations.

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

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