Green Bean Books

A Beautiful World

Written by Yael Gover
Illustrated by Paul Kor

Price: £12.99 / $14.99
Pages: 24
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 9781805000037

Highlights

  • A unique, educational tale for young children, telling the story of the creation of the world
  • An accessible, straightforward telling of a complex topic for young readers
  • A flap book, with each page a burst of colour, covered with vibrant font and eye-catching illustrations
  • A full page of mirror foil on the last page is engaging and exciting for children, and sets the book apart as even more unique

Description

A Beautiful World takes young readers through the story of the creation of the world. The book begins in darkness, but we are soon introduced to a magic paintbrush. With the help of this paintbrush, the world can begin to be formed, and readers are invited to follow along.

Firstly, the darkness is coloured blue – light has been created, which soon gives way to water. Water gives way to land, which makes room for the moon and the stars, which allow for birds, fish and animals to be created.

With the help of the magic paintbrush, the whole world is soon formed, but it is missing one vital element: “you!”. The young reader, invited to look into the mirror foil on the last page of the book, completes this picture of the world and the story of its creation.

With the story and illustrations designed and drawn up years ago by renowned Israeli artist Paul Kor, A Beautiful World has been a long time coming and is keenly anticipated. Yael Gover’s simple yet informative and engaging text complements Kor’s vibrant illustrations perfectly, this partnership making for an exceptional work of children’s literature.

The book is notable for the way it invites children to be creative and use their imagination: the act of art is shown as a beautiful act of creation, and vice-versa. The message of the book is a simple one: that we have the power to create beauty.

This is a wholly unique book, made even more so by the fact that it recently made it into space! Israeli astronaut Eitan Stiva chose the book to take into space, where he read an edition of the work printed especially for the occasion – a spectacular journey for a spectacular book.

Author Details

Yael Gover is a writer and senior editor of children’s books at Kinneret-Zmora Publishing House in Israel. She was born in Jerusalem and now lives in Ramat Gan, where she raises three children, two lemon trees and one dog. Having worked with the some of the best authors in Israel, she has left a distinctive mark on children’s literature in Hebrew. Her books Doctor Yoyo and The Emir and the Jewish Cobbler, were both selected for the PJ Library, and Doctor Yoyo won the prestigious Dvora Omer award for children’s literature.

Illustrator Details

Paul Kor was an artist and author, world-renowned for his paintings, books, illustrations and graphic design. He was born to a Jewish family in France in 1926. In 1948, Kor immigrated to Israel and began developing a distinct visual language. During the 1960s, he designed banknotes, postal stamps and posters. His work became so widely recognized that multinational companies commissioned his work, including El-Al Airlines, Elite and

Reviews

‘First published in Hebrew in 2003, the book combines the talents of award-winning author Yael Gover, and Paul Kor (1926-2001), who designed Israeli banknotes and stamps before illustrating children’s books. The bright colors and smiling creatures are captivating, and the text that asks what the artist should add involves the audience and builds anticipation… the whimsical pictures, and the message that the world needs you, leave the reader full of positivity.’ – Chava Pinchuck, Editor, Jewish Values Finder 

“With upbeat text perfectly complemented by a cheerful palette and childlike illustrations, A Beautiful World takes us through the creation story. A nameless narrator – apparently Hashem – begins with a black page and adds light and color, water and land, plants and animals, and so on, until the world is almost complete. What is missing? Why, you, the reader! Just as Hashem invites us to be partners in creation, the narrator invites the reader to be a partner in enjoying the world – and reading this book! The final page has a mirror on it so the child reader can see herself. Young children love seeing themselves in the mirror, so that would certainly add to the fun! A Beautiful World is sure to be a favorite of young children – and their parents.” — Rachel J. Fremmerwww.sydneytaylorshmooze.com

The upbeat text is perfectly complemented by a cheerful palette and childlike illustrations, reminiscent of The Beatles’ Yellow Submarine.” — Dena Bach, Illustration Editor, www.sydneytaylorshmooze.com

‘Although there have been many pic­ture books about how the world came to be accord­ing to Jew­ish tra­di­tion, A Beau­ti­ful World is unique. Yael Gov­er and Paul Kor imag­ine the act of cre­ation in Gen­e­sis as a glo­ri­ous art project, with a child cre­at­ing the beau­ty of her envi­ron­ment. Read­ers are invit­ed to fol­low her untu­tored imag­i­na­tion through the process of discovery. Paul Kor’s (1926 – 2001) images are rem­i­nis­cent of 1960s pop art, like the work of Peter Max, but they also cap­ture the naiveté of a child’s paint­ing. Plants and ani­mals pop­u­lat­ing the earth, sea, and sky are whim­si­cal, with human-like facial expres­sions and the range of tones avail­able in a box of pri­ma­ry-col­ored paints. Each two-page spread has a flap that opens to reveal more words and anoth­er sec­tion of the illus­tra­tion. The book’s for­mat mir­rors its theme: that ver­bal and visu­al cre­ativ­i­ty unfold gradually.

Gov­er cap­tures the excite­ment of a child real­iz­ing her poten­tial to bring ideas to life. The nar­ra­tor asks her­self, ​“What’s miss­ing? What can I add? Which col­ors should I pick?” Any artist who’s con­front­ed a blank page will iden­ti­fy with these thoughts. Even if chil­dren aren’t famil­iar with the account of the world’s birth in the Bible, they will under­stand the mes­sage that cre­ation begins with empti­ness and cul­mi­nates with a final vision.

The nar­ra­tor becomes immersed in her art­work, going so far as to smell the flow­ers she has paint­ed, and to ​“invite” the moon into her world. She asks ques­tions about which crea­tures will swim in the waves and how many land ani­mals will com­fort­ably fit into the com­po­si­tion, wel­com­ing the read­er to par­tic­i­pate in her cre­ation. The ques­tion ​“Should I draw more?” will make sense to chil­dren who often won­der whether their own pic­ture is finished.

A sur­prise at the end of the book reit­er­ates that every artist is both an indi­vid­ual and a col­lab­o­ra­tor. Each crea­ture inhab­its its own niche, but also forms part of our largest com­mu­ni­ty: the world itself.’ — Emily Schneider, Jewish Book Council