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Miracle Man: The Story of Jesus

21 min. Dreamscape. 2017. $38.99. ISBN 9781520069463.
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PreS-Gr 2—A narrator describes some of the miracles performed by Jesus (known in the film as Miracle Man) in this adaptation of John Hendrix's 2016 picture book. He healed the sick, fed multitudes of people with scant provisions, calmed a storm, and walked on water to reassure his disciples. The story is animated in 2-D, and sometimes the only movement is a nodding head or a waving arm. The most dramatic movement occurs when the Miracle Man speaks; the text of his words visually transform into phenomena such as fluttering butterflies or pulsing bolts of lightning. The details of first-century life in Jerusalem are painstakingly re-created, and the miracles are beautifully and imaginatively depicted. However, a few storytelling elements might be puzzling to young viewers. At the beginning, the Miracle Man says to the disciples, "Follow me, and you'll catch fish of a different kind." This is never referred to again. The film mentions that the Miracle Man goes off by himself sometimes, but states that he does so because he is overwhelmed, not to pray to God. Jesus's last miracle in the film is his resurrection, but there's no explanation of why he came back from the dead.
VERDICT A gorgeous retelling of some of Jesus's miracles for very young audiences.

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