"There once was a man who planted a vine..."
So begins this rhythmical, festive children's book about the joy of a farmer and his little daughter as they work their vineyard and offer the fruit of the vine back to their Creator in Eucharistic celebration. The vibrant images -- reminiscent of vineyards in the American west -- sparkle in light-saturated, warm jewel-tones and provide the perfect backdrop for the story of a man in love with the earth and his labor, and equally in love with his God. The reader takes in the mystery of grapes becoming the wine of the Holy Communion as the illustrations and the text lead from field to wine cellar to church, where, finally:
"With the 'Amen' he said, the heavens swooshed to earth
and a sweet, sweet voice rang true.
And the angels flew and the saints sang too
and the holy bells rang
and a holy wind rushed through the room."
Author Jane G. Meyer tells the story of the Eucharistic offering in lyrical language that naturally links the fruit of the vine with the wine of the heavenly banquet. Ned Gannon, through his jubilant illustrations, recreates Paradise on earth, fixing our eyes on the Kingdom of God that daily appears in our midst.
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