Author: Sandy Eisenberg Sasso
Illustrator: Joani Keller Rothenberg
Publisher: Jewish Lights Publishing, 2003
Audience: Ages 4 and up
Summary of Book: This book is a beautiful story of what Adam and Eve’s first sunset may have felt like.
Literary elements at work in the story: This book is a retelling of the first sunset. It is a pictorial Midrash for children on the Biblical story. It helps the reader to “get inside” what the first sunset was like. The author takes us into the story and opens our eyes to what it may have felt like. It is a test of faith and trust for Adam and Eve. Was the sun going away because of something they did? Or was the sun just tired from a long day of warming and lighting the earth? Or was the sun just sad? The story is driven by Adam and Eve’s attempt to stop the sun from setting with his strength, her song, blaming each other, commanding for it to stop, and finally their prayer to God. It also shows how Adam and Eve’s trust and faith in God and each other is tested. The illustrations frame the story by showing the beauty of the earth, the vivid colors of the animals and plants, the size and power of the sun, and the changing moods of the two creatures made in God’s image Adam and Eve.
Does perspective on gender/race/culture/economic/ability make a difference in the story?: The author and the illustrator do a good job with the skin color, hair and physical features of Adam and Eve. As far as gender, cultural, and economic standing Adam and Eve seem to share equal standing. They both use their individual abilities to try and stop the sun’s descent and both of them fail. After failing individually to stop the sun’s descent Adam and Eve pull together and start a fire. They realize that they are not in control of the sun and pray to God that he would make it morning again. And eventually after they fall asleep and God does just that. The sun rises in the east and begins a new day. They thanked God for the morning sun and the new day and when it set that night they thanked God for the night as well.
Theological Conversation Partners: Faith and trust in God are at the core of this story. Adam and Eve face their first test (the night) and through it they learn to trust and have faith in God. Great lesson for all ages to trust and have faith in what we cannot see.
Faith Talk Questions:
- Why do you think God did not tell Adam and Eve about the sunset?
- Were you surprised by Adam and Eve’s reaction to the sunset? Why? Why not?
- Why do you think Adam blamed Eve for the sunset?
- Why did Eve blame Adam for the sunset?
- How do you think you would have reacted to the sunset?
- What do you think God was trying to teach Adam and Eve?
- Are Adam and Eve better because of it? Why? Why not?
This review is written by Union Presbyterian Seminary student Bob Martin.