19 November 2003

God Went to Beauty School

What if God loved this world He created so much, and was so curious about it, that He decided to come try some of it out?

That's the premise of God Went to Beauty School, the new juvie novel by Newbery Award winning author, Cynthia Rylant. It's a teeny book, just 55 pages, and written entirely in poems.

Each poem title announces something or other that God did: "God Went to Beauty School," "God Caught a Cold," God Saw a Movie," and so on. One of my favorites, "God Went to India," begins:

To see the elephants.
God adores elephants.
He thinks they are
the best thing
He ever made.
They do everything
He hoped for:
They love their children,
they don't kill,
they mourn their dead.

While some people will doubtless find this book too irreverant for their liking, I think it is a beautiful meditation on the little things that matter (because if God finds value in making spaghetti or getting a dog...), with just the right amount of humor thrown in. (Of course, we all know God must have a good sense of humor.) Run to your local library (or bookstore, even) and check out this lovely, lyrical volume.

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