Monday, August 29, 2011

The Lion Bible in its Time

I seem to start every post nowadays with the words "My apologies for the long delay since my last post..." The reason for this is that I have been working flat out to finish the chronological teaching pictures for New Tribes Mission. The number of pictures on the original list has now increased to 212! 207 are complete, apart from some alterations, leaving five pictures to do, but they include some very involved ones like 'The Dedication of Solomon's Temple', 'Jacobs Ladder' and 'The Fall of Jericho!'
As it's a bank holiday Monday here in the U.K. I thought I'd add a quick blog. I was sent a copy of 'The Lion Bible in its Time' a few weeks back to review on the blog - so here goes.

When I review a book like this for readers of the blog I'm looking purely at the illustrative content and not the literary. The first thing that struck me about this book was the standard of illustration, which is much higher than you normally find in a book of this type, (which is basically an introduction to the Bible for children). They reminded me of the illustrations in the Reader's Digest 'Jesus and his Times' (1987). The illustrator, Steve Noon has produced breathtakingly detailed panoramas of Biblical scenery, my favorites were The Tabernacle, Jerusalem in the reign of King Solomon, Babylon (See above cover), Roman Jerusalem and The Port of Caesarea, (below). The pictures also include helpful cutaway sections showing the interiors of buildings/tents etc.

The pictures on the whole are well researched - many of them are based on ancient Assyrian and Egyptian carvings for accuracy. Steve Noon has done an excellent job lighting the pictures too - you can almost feel the warm glow of the sun! On a spread titled 'The great Flood' a large boat is seen being covered with bitumen. I don't think that this is supposed to be Noahs Ark as it's only about 15 feet high at the side. I suspect that this is rather depicting the boat building techniques of the time. Books of this type tend to concentrate on historical detail rather than the miraculous. It's a fine line that the publishers have to walk in order to get these books into our secular school libraries here in the U.K. - they come under rigorous censorship!

Steve Noon is not put off when facing an epic battle scene either as his picture of the Assyrian army defeating Israel in 720 BCE clearly shows. There really is a lot to look at in these pictures, and if you look closely, you'll find some humorous scenes that children will enjoy too. I'm guessing that the pictures were done in watercolor which must have taken a fair time to do. The reproduction is good, as is the print quality. All-in-all this is an excellent book and one that I would recommend to readers for their reference library.
Top marks to Steve Noon and Lion!

Pictures © Lion hudson 2011