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*****= An all-time favorite
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***God Went to Beauty School

by Cynthia Rylant

Reviewed September 1, 2003.
HarperTempest, New York, 2003.  56 pages.
A 2004 Boston Globe Horn Book Fiction and Poetry Honor Book
Available at Sembach Library (JF RYL).

If you take this book too seriously, it would be easy to think it sacrilegious.  If you take it lightly, as I think it’s meant to be taken, it’s a fun look at what it might be like if God came to earth as a regular guy.  And isn’t that what he did?  Only Jesus came so long ago, maybe we’ve forgotten that he was a regular guy.

It’s a short book of poems, which you can read in about fifteen minutes.  I haven’t gotten my kids to read it, but it might make for some interesting discussion.  There are parts I liked, and parts I didn’t like so well.

In the opening poem, “God Went to Beauty School,”
“He got into nails, of course,
because he’d always loved
hands were some of the best things
He’d ever done.”

I didn’t like the poem “God Got Arrested” so much, because I don’t think that God gets all that upset when people take Jesus’ name in vain.  When Jesus was on earth, the people he got steaming mad at were the religious ones, not the ignorant ones.

My favorite is the final poem, “God Died,” because there’s a lot of truth in what it says about God coming to earth and dying.

“So the story goes
that God took on
the blood, the bones,
the eyes, the heart, the
kidneys of a man.
And he made real friends.
And he loved a real family.
And He prayed real prayers.”

Definitely an interesting book.

Reviews of other books by Cynthia Rylant:
I Had Seen Castles
Henny, Penny, Lenny, Denny, and Mike

Copyright © 2003 Sondra Eklund.  All rights reserved.

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