Mary Joslin is perhaps the second best (second to Tomie dePaola) children’s book author dealing with religious subjects. She is a fine writer, and never makes her stories too didactic — rather they are filled with life and character. In this beautiful book illustrating the life of Mary, the mother of Jesus (whose Immaculate Conception the Catholic Church celebrates today!), Mary is the one presenting the narrative herself. It begins:
When I was a girl I lived in a plain little town called Nazareth. It stands among the hills of Galilee north of Jerusalem. I remember so well one beautiful spring. The sky was blue, the hillsides around were covered with wildflowers, and everything in my life seemed sunny. I was nearly grown up, and my family had arranged that I should marry a good man named Joseph–Joseph the carpenter.
Thus we enter into Mary’s heart as she tells us her life, and brings us closer to her Son. The watercolor illustrations by Alison Wisenfeld, are stunning in their simplicity and grace, firmly planted in the tradition of the great artists, yet fresh and engaging and lovely way.