Let There Be Light by Archbishop Desmond Tutu (Book Review)

I love finding books the help my children think more about the Bible, so I was pleased to get a chance to review Let There Be Light by Nobel Peace Prize Winner Archbishop Desmond Tutu, illustrated by New York Times bestselling author Nancy Tillman.  We received the board book edition, but it is also available in hardcover.

Let There Be Light retells the story of Genesis chapter 1 in beautifully descriptive language.  The book goes through each day of creation, beginning with God all alone before anything else exists, and ending on the seventh day, with God resting and enjoying what He has created.

Bible purists might take issue with a few things.  First, after God creates the light, Tutu writes, “And there was day.  And there was night.  And when the first day was done, God smiled and knew that it was good.”  The Bible puts the night first (And there was evening and there was morning, the first day.” Genesis 1:5), which is why Jewish days begin at sundown.

At the end of the book, God makes “people,” rather than a man and woman, and for the seventh day Tutu writes, “God laughed, and rested…”  These details don’t necessarily contradict the Scriptural account, but they might be taking more liberty than would make some people comfortable.

The last page simply states, “You are loved.”  It’s the way Nancy Tillman ends all her children’s books, but since she is the illustrator, not the author, I’m not sure why it was included in Let There Be Light.  It is a wonderful truth, but it seems a bit out of place considering the rest of the text.

Still, this is a beautiful book, and I didn’t hesitate to share it with my children (though I would discuss the issues mentioned above with them as they are old enough to understand).  Tillman’s illustrations are unique and eye-catching, reflecting the glory of God’s creation and helping the reader marvel at the beauty of the world He has given us.

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