Mr. and Mrs. God in the Creation Kitchen

By Nancy Wood
Illustrated by Timothy Basil Ering
Candlewick, 2006

This is one of FOUR books I bought during the New England Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators Spring Conference over the weekend. You will hear about all of them, eventually, but this is the one I’ve chosen to start with.

In Nancy Wood’s take on the creation story, God is a couple and creation is a molding, mixing, whipping, and baking extravaganza. Mr. God makes the sun, the dinosaurs (who he soon regrets), pelicans and a giant blue whale. Mrs. God, not to be outdone, throws together the Earth, its atmosphere, and all the fish in the sea. Their masterpiece, however, is a joint effort: humankind. The art of Timothy Basil Ering adds colors and feelings that are at once zany (Mr.’s pelican eats up Mrs.’ Fish) and profound (Mr.’s whale is breath-catching). My favorite part of this book, however, will forever be the title page, which now reads:

For the Burns Family-
May you always know what to create next!
Magical wishes,
Your friend,
Timothy Basil Ering

I cannot recall ever being in the presence of a person so wholly devoted to sharing his passion. The presentation Timothy gave at the conference was nothing short of inspirational and his standing ovation (the first truly spontaneous standing ovation I have ever seen) was well-deserved.

So, if you have never been to the New England SCBWI Spring Conference, I highly recommend you consider it next year. And if you have never seen Timothy Basil Ering speak, you should put that on your to-do list as well. And while you are waiting for the opportunity to do both, read MR. AND MRS. GOD IN THE CREATION KITCHEN. It is a truly beautiful book.