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What Is God?


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About the Author

Etan Boritzer has worked as a journalist for several magazines and his poetry has been published in various European and American journals. Etan's travels and studies in the Far East and other parts of the world, have led to his realization that the numerous and sometimes confusing concepts of God should be synthesized and made more accessible to children. Etan Boritzer currently resides near Santa Monica, California, writing screenplays and more children's books. Robbie Marantz is a freelance illustrator living in New York City. She grew up in Los Angeles and was educated at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena. The majority of her work is editorial illustration for magazines and newspapers, including Time Magazine, Business Week and Cosmopolitan. What is God? is Robbie's first children's book.


In a world increasingly torn by religious strife, the laudable motive behind this book is to try and answer the question ``What is God?'' and to give children a sense of universal brotherhood by celebrating similarities in differing religions. Boritzer starts off well, explaining some of the historical concepts of God, what the word religion means and how different religious groups worship. The book is at its best when talking about these concrete subjects. It's when the author starts drawing conclusions and forming definitions that he may get into trouble. In an attempt to tie the concepts together, Boritzer writes: ``God is everything great and small! . . . If everything is God, God is the last leaf on a tree . . . God is an elephant crashing through the jungle . . . God is the hot wind in the desert,'' etc. This may be construed as pantheistic, and Boritzer risks foisting his own beliefs on readers. Overall, this is an intriguing idea. Marantz's daring, highly stylized illustrations are full of character, and they pick up on many of the text's nuances. All ages. (Nov.)

This is a thoughtful introduction to the many meanings of God, to the world's religions, and the author even gives a moment's thought to the many ways to pray.--Christine Watson"Santa Cruz Sentinel" (11/23/1990)
A delightfully ecumenical book that answers questions straightforwardly and stresses the similarities of the world's religions in simple language. The color pictures are whimsical and sure to delight readers of all ages.--Washington Post
How I wish I'd found this book ten years ago.... When I stumbled on this book two months ago, I was thrilled. Critics might see it as a soft-core, everything-and-the-kitchen-sick approach to discussing religion, but that's exactly what I needed.-- (10/01/2008)
Etan Boritzer provides young people with interesting, thoughtful perspectives to these types of questions about God... Many spiritual questions are pondered and are presented in a way that shows that...ultimately we all believe in the same things.... A great addition to any home or school library. Highly Recommended.-- (04/13/2012)

Gr 4-6-- A provocative look at the concept of God that differs greatly from the Judeo-Christian idea of God as a person rather than as a vacuous feeling or entity. Major world religions are introduced in combination with the well-known teachers representing them (Moses, Jesus, Buddha, Mohammed), and whose words evolved into a library of Holy Books: the Bible, the Torah, the Koran, the Sutras, and the Vedas. Similarities are drawn among these faiths, showing common strands of truth and prayer as a universal tool of communication with God. Brief discussion is given to those believing in multiple gods as well as to those who experience religious persecution. Boritzer's attempt to synthesize and make accessible the many concepts of God results in the New Age concept/belief of pantheism. Marantz' Henrik Drescher-like illustrations are bold and bright watercolors, occupying full pages that face the poetic free-verse text. At times they serve a somewhat decorative purpose, but usually expand and elucidate elements in the narrative. The reasoning process used throughout may occasionally prove too abstract for many children, making this a picture book for older readers. It will be best utilized by religious-education teachers and parents. --Celia A. Huffman, Cuyahoga County Public Library, Cleveland

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