We Are God’s Children

Image of the Week

We Are God's Children

© DURGA YAEL BERNHARD

We Are God’s Children

Here is another illustration that was commissioned by a progressive Christian publisher, about a year ago.  I’ve been working with this publisher for nineteen years, and have a superb relationship with the editor – I genuinely look forward to Sarah’s input.  She encouraged me to interpret this image of brotherly love in a contemporary, universal way.  

With so much unrest brewing in the world, so much prejudice, hate, and bigotry, I wanted to convey a message of interracial harmony.  What kind of geometry expresses peaceful coexistence?  Is it a flower? a sun? a mandala?  That’s up to you.  Regardless, it is inclusive yet expansive, intricate yet simple – like all of God’s children and endless creations.

It seems there can’t be too many images like this.  My prayer is that the seeds of tolerance and peace will be planted in the hearts and minds of those who need it most.  But please, let the child within each one of us be the side that is open-minded, free of hate and bitterness, and full of wonder – not the side that is naive, short-sighted, immature, or selfish.

Order We Are God’s Children as a POSTER this week, and get a free greeting card (of the same image)!   $10 for the poster and card, shipping included.  Order your poster here!

Wishing you a good week, 

seedling

D Yael Bernhard

Author / Illustrator of
THE JEWISH EYE - 2015 / 5775 calendar of art
NEVER SAY A MEAN WORD AGAIN - A Publisher’s Weekly Starred Review;
winner of the 2015 Sydney Taylor Award & National Jewish Book Award
THE DREIDEL THAT WOULDN’T SPIN - A Toyshop Tale of Hanukkah
WHILE YOU ARE SLEEPING - A Children’s Book Council Notable Book
GREEN BIBLE STORIES FOR CHILDREN - Nat’l Green Book Festival Notable Book
A RIDE ON MOTHER’S BACK - An American Bookseller Assoc. Pick of the List
- and more!

 

 

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Celebration

 

 

Image of the Week

Celebration

© DURGA YAEL BERNHARD

Celebration

Celebration was one of my very first religious illustrations, commissioned nineteen years ago.  My assignment was to illustrate Psalm 150, which begins with the word “Halleluyah!”, or “praise God” in Hebrew.  This beautiful psalm speaks of praise for the divine with many instruments: shofar and lute, violin and drum, cymbal and drum, and according to my translation, even “husky flute” and “writhing dance”!

What is being celebrated?  None other than our connection to the divine, to the source of life, to God or the Tao or however you think of the force that makes us human and keeps the mysterious cycle of nature in continuous, changing harmony.  That force is depicted here as a living, colorful “sun”.  The celebrants are of every race and nation, and they are free.  With Passover upon us, this is the week to celebrate freedom!

I deliberately created (and titled) this image as broadly as possible, so that it would have universal appeal.  Over the years, people have interpreted it in many ways, and the image has been licensed for a broad range of purposes, including on the cover of a CD of world music for Narada Records.  I love it when people see different things in my art, and if you care to comment, your take on it is welcome too!

Order Celebration as a POSTER this week, and get a free greeting card (of the same image)!   $10 for the poster and card, shipping included.  Order your poster here

Wishing you a good week, and happy Passover!

seedling

D Yael Bernhard
http://dyaelbernhard.com
Author / Illustrator of
THE JEWISH EYE - 2015 / 5775 calendar of art
NEVER SAY A MEAN WORD AGAIN - A Publisher’s Weekly Starred Review;
winner of the 2015 Sydney Taylor Award & National Jewish Book Award
THE DREIDEL THAT WOULDN’T SPIN - A Toyshop Tale of Hanukkah
WHILE YOU ARE SLEEPING - A Children’s Book Council Notable Book
GREEN BIBLE STORIES FOR CHILDREN - Nat’l Green Book Festival Notable Book
A RIDE ON MOTHER’S BACK - An American Bookseller Assoc. Pick of the List
- and more!

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Universal Wonder: Just Like Me, Climbing a Tree

 

 

JLM_cover

I’m pleased to announce the publication of my newest book, JUST LIKE ME, CLIMBING A TREE, just published by Wisdom Tales Press.  The subtitle reads “Exploring Trees Around the World”, but the book is equally about the kids who climb them – kids just like me when I was a girl, and loved to commune with nature.  Not the nature of soaring canyons and majestic mountains, but of the small world of a child’s perception.  JUST LIKE ME is a rhyming poem about kids everywhere as they discover the tactile world of trunks and leaves, bark and fruit, flowers, birds, and insects.

I’m doubly pleased to announce that this book is accompanied by a song of the same title – a delightful one at that, recorded by Storie Laurie, a renowned children’s musician and friend from the other side of the Catkill Mountains where I live.  Laurie and I have long wanted to collaborate – and this will surely not be the last time.

Click here to watch an awesome trailer of the book and song! (scroll down to find it)


Willow detailJUST LIKE ME is for people just like you – and your child.  There’s something all children have in common, and that’s wonder.  All children are curious about trees, and drawn to the sanctuary of welcoming limbs that hold them in the peaceful arms of nature.  Climbing trees comes naturally to little hands and feet, and many children seek refuge in trees.  It is important for children to know they’re all alike in their most basic desires – including the need for a sanctuary.Live Oak detail

The seed of this book was planted in me as a child many years ago, when I was given Walt Disney’s 1964 LP record  “It’s a Small World After All.”  After all what?  The Sherman brothers wrote the lyrics to this timeless classic in the wake of the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis.  The song carries a message of peace and international unity to this day. The children of Russian Jewish immigrants, the Sherman Brothers also wrote such popular songs as Mary Poppins, The Jungle Book, The Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, and Charlotte’s Web… all of which influenced me as a child.

Small World 2The cover of It’s a Small World especially made an indelible impact on my young mind.  I loved the naive and graphic tapestry of colors.  A rainbow of doll-like ethnicities smiled at me in neat rows, or waved from the basket of a hot-air balloon.  Up, up and away went my childish imagination as I sang the words over and over.

There’s so much that we share
that it’s time we’re aware
it’s a small world after all . . .

 

Small World 1

Two generations later, I want to bring children the same message: recognition of our common human nature.   May this book find its way into the hands of children who are taught otherwise, and need this message so badly.

We are all the same, in all different ways has been an underlying theme of all my multicultural books – as well as the residencies I’ve taught in elementary schools – but never before has it applied to trees.   Trees, too, have much in common in all their biological diversity.   In the back of the book, more information awaits readers who want to learn more about the twelve distinctive species of trees they have just visited.  Scientific, cultural and historical facts make up a paragraph for each tree that parents and teachers can share with young children, or that older children can read by themselves.   Did you know lychee nuts are really fruits?  Or that the fiber of the Kapok fruit pod has been used to stuff life jackets?  Find out how the Silk Road got its name, or what the oldest trees on earth are.

I thoroughly enjoyed learning about the subjects of this book – both people and trees – and I hope you will too.  You can find JUST LIKE ME on Amazon, where the first reviews have already been posted.  Signed copies may be ordered through my webstore.  If you don’t have children, consider donating a copy to your library!  And don’t forget to visit Story Laurie’s website, where you can find the song.  JUST LIKE ME, CLIMBING A TREE is a small world of discovery and celebration of both diversity and unity.

Kapok detail

MULTICULTURAL BOOKS WRITTEN AND/OR ILLUSTRATED BY D YAEL BERNHARD:
JUST LIKE ME, CLIMBING A TREE: Exploring Trees Around the World - new!!
WHILE YOU ARE SLEEPING: A Lift-the-Flap Book of Time Around the World
A Children’s Book Council Notable Book for Global Awareness
AROUND THE WORLD IN ONE SHABBAT - A Sydney Taylor Honor Book
A RIDE ON MOTHER’S BACK - An American Bookseller Assoc. Pick of the List
HAPPY NEW YEAR – New Year’s Traditions Around the World

My daughter Eve, age 5 in 1996, climbing a tree with her friend Theo.

My daughter Eve, age 5 in 1996, climbing a tree with her friend Theo.

 

 

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