Let There Be Light by Archbishop Desmond Tutu is a beautiful re-telling of the creation story for children, with gorgeous images by Nancy Tillman. This story evokes awe from the first pages, as Nancy’s drawings capture the beauty of creation and the manner in which each new act of creation adds to the world.
Even I found myself spending as much time staring at the pictures as reading the story, for the details in the pictures invited careful scrutiny. The image of God in light from the first page was also repeated in many elements of the following pages, and I found myself looking for it and smiling when I found it in some new element of creation. Jade love the pictures of giraffes and elephants when we got to the sixth day of creation and Lily liked the fact that all the people had crowns at the end of the day.
In the introduction to the book, Archbishop Tutu tells young readers, “And you’ll see, God got very busy creating wondrous things. And eventually, God said, ‘Let there be you.’ God wanted you to shine your own special light of love, because without you the world would not be quite as bright and beautiful.” Nancy echoes that idea in her introduction and I think this book completely captures the love and light of God’s creation.
We have many children’s Bibles for preschoolers in our house. I liked the way that this book focuses upon the creation story, inviting readers—both parents and children—to slow down and to think about this huge moment of history that is often sped past. Let There Be Light is a great book to read for bedtime, as it invites quiet thought, yet I’d also like to find some crafts to go with this book to invite the girls to think more about creation.
Archbishop Desmond Tutu was award the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984 for his lifelong struggle to bring equality, justice, and peace to his native country of South Africa. He was the first black South African Archbishop in Cape Town and is primate of the Anglican Church of South Africa. In 1995, he worked with President Nelson Mandela on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, a body set up to probe gross human rights violations that occurred under apartheid. He and his wife Leah live in South Africa and have four children and seven grandchild. Archbishop Tutu is also the author of numerous other books.
Nancy Tillman is a best-selling author and illustrator and lives in Portland, Oregon. In her books, she wants to convey to children everywhere that “You are loved.” You can find out more about Nancy on her website or by following her on Facebook.