Eve and Adam and the Very First Day
"Gloriously beautiful and tender." --Kirkus Starred Review
In this unusual retelling, the biblical story of creation is told from Eve's perspective and explores what it might have been like emotionally for the world's first two people to experience everything for the very first time--seeing and naming the animals; feeling the rain; fearing the night; becoming excited by the stars, and having faith that they are not alone.
Lush illustrations bring the wonder of the new world to life, while children will enjoy looking for the recurring cat and dog characters throughout the story.
The story stops well before the infamous apple-eating scene, focusing instead on themes of curiosity, discovery, new experiences, handling fear, and having faith. Author's note further explores the nature of faith for young children.
"Kimmelman employs soaring , highly descriptive language imbued with gentle humor, imagination, wonder, and awe, brought to vivid life by Avgustinovich's lush artwork." --Kirkus Reviews
KIRKUS STARRED REVIEW
Everything is completely new and unknown on the first day of human existence.
Eve’s first day finds her thankful and unafraid. Not even the “brilliant ball of yellow burning above” worries her. She notices a two-legged creature, who seems friendly and calls himself Adam. Together they give names to everything they see. Eve considers Adam’s ideas for names—“dog,” “cat,” “ant”—somewhat boring, while hers are more interesting: “nightingale” and “strawberry,” for instance. Perhaps it’s because God had some practice before he made her. Eve emerges as the more dominant of the two, but she finds Adam kind and beautiful. Relying on faith—and each other—the pair deal with the strangeness of everything, from rain to sundown and night to the miracle of sunrise on their second day. The familiar tale is told in the ancient Jewish tradition of midrash, a way of interpreting and enriching Bible stories. Kimmelman employs soaring, highly descriptive language imbued with gentle humor, imagination, wonder, and awe, brought to vivid life by Avgustinovich’s lush artwork. The brown-skinned duo are nude but covered up by Eve’s thick black hair and, in Adam’s case, a strategically placed leaf. Never demanding belief or denying science, this is a fresh take on the oldest interpretation of the beginning. (This book was reviewed digitally.)
Gloriously beautiful and tender. (author’s note) (Religious picture book. 4-9) --KIRKUS REVIEWS
Leslie Kimmelman and Irina Avgustinovich tell the story of Adam and Eve — but this time, the tale is recounted from Eve’s point of view as she encounters God’s creations for the first time. She names the animals and all natural phenomena with her own creative touch and encourages Adam to do the same. She keeps him calm and reassures him with optimism when they experience their first frightening sunset and nightfall, when they are unsure whether there will be a second day of light. Eve’s determination to face the future with hope will inspire readers.
The magnificent color illustrations show the Garden of Eden in all its lush and lavish abundance. There is no snake in this garden — just the beauty of new experiences and an appreciation of the world’s awe-inspiring wonder.
An author’s note to this modern midrash teaches young readers that while new things can be scary and uncomfortable, having faith in “yourself, in the people around you, or in God” can help you cope with life’s challenges and uncertainties, and give you the confidence to anticipate what tomorrow may bring. --JEWISH BOOK COUNCIL
On her very first day in the Garden of Eden, Eve (who is strong and inquisitive and not afraid of anything), meets Adam, who was made first and has a beautiful smile. Together, they wander the Garden giving names to things. Adam gives simple names. Eve prefers more imaginative ones. However, Day doesn’t last forever. The sun goes down. Night comes. Eve and Adam are nervous. It’s dark. They are new and have never seen night before. But they have faith and, together, they make it through. Kimmelman’s beautiful, lyrical language combines with Irina Augustinovich’s spectacularly sensitive illustrations to give readers a creative telling of Eve and Adam’s first day. The two have golden skin and wavy black hair, which can be interpreted as white, Asian, or Latinx. Eve's long hair, along with various elements of nature, are cleverly used to hide the couple's nakedness in an unforced manner.
This is a book about faith and about getting through tough moments (like when the sun disappears) and knowing, somehow, that things will be good once again. Eve and Adam is based on a Torah story that, to the best of this reviewer’s knowledge, originated with the Jewish people and subsequently entered the other Abrahamic religions. That makes it an authentically Jewish story. The book will probably resonate with all of the Abrahamic religions, with all strands of Judaism, perhaps even with all beliefs. It might even resonate with those who have no religious beliefs. An important book for all preschool libraries. Includes Author’s Note on the role that faith plays in the story… and in life. --Sydney Taylor Shmooze