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God Went To Beauty School [Paperback]

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Book by Rylant, Cynthia

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He went there to learn how to give a good perm and ended up just crazy about nails so He opened up His own shop. Read the first page
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5.0 out of 5 stars The holy and the profane April 23 2004
Format:Hardcover
The first Cynthia Rylant book I ever read was the picture book, "When I Was Young In the Mountains". The story was not long or drawn out, and the words in the books were simple and pure. You might expect that in a picture book anyway, but there's a difference between saying what you want clearly and directly and simply being brief. Rylant never says any more nor less than she has to. It's a talent that has served her well in the past and made possible the succinct eloquence that is, "God Went to Beauty School".
I don't know if this book is profane or the holiest collection of poems I've ever read. I think maybe it's a little of both. Unabashedly Christian (with nods of the head to Buddhism) the book is a series sweet simple views of how God goes about His day. 23 poems in all, the book shows God getting a dog, ordering a couch from Pottery Barn, seeing a movie, and so on. These are small vignettes that take a what-if stance and enjoy what they conjure up. The great danger of the book, I suppose, was that it might fall into that old, "What If God Was One of Us", trap. Some could argue that this book is unnecessary if you believe that Jesus was already God. Rylant anticipates this point in the final longest poem, "God Died".

The book is simultaneously funny and touching. I have heard that Bible study groups use the poems to study. That groups of people without religion will ponder the poems line by line. The nicest poem in the group is, to my mind, "God Went to India". I have heard that people have read this poem at funerals. That it encompasses something in all of us, touching us deeply, revealing the truth that everything changes from one thing into another. The book is small and it does not impose itself upon you. It invites you to read it and whether you love it or hate it, it will not attempt to convert you one way or another. It is a book to love.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Slim Volume of Powerful Poems April 11 2004
Format:Hardcover
Cynthia Rylant doesn't need to use a lot of words to get her point across. This Newberry Medal winning author gives a whimsical and endearing view of God in this book. From eating spaghetti to sailing a boat, God does all the things a human might and sees them with a deep and innocent intensity.
While the book may not be a perfect representation of a real God, it does soften the edges and round the corners of the most powerful being.
Overall, this book is light on the surface but thought provoking in it's simplicity. A great read!
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5.0 out of 5 stars What IF God was one of us?... Jan. 2 2004
Format:Hardcover
This poetry about placing god in "mundane" situations, dealing with them as if a mere human, is not only whimsical/fanciful. I implore you to read the poems multiple times (preferably after giving them some time to sink in) if they initially strike you as this shallow. Mrs. Ryant verses far transcends the trite, flippant or ... rolls eyes... blasphemous. These poems are refreshing, as they creatively hit the bullseye of imbuing everyday situations with godliness. There is plenty of genuine humor thinking about something traditionally associated with omnipotence becoming a nail stylist, having difficulty with credit card companies, or about owning a dog. And if a book can get across some genuine spiritual lessons to me all the while making me chuckle, if not outright laugh... it's worth having.
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