The Boy of the Painted Cave

Justin Denzel, Author
Justin Denzel, Author Philomel Books $17.99 (112p) ISBN 978-0-399-21559-9
Reviewed on: 09/22/1988
Release date: 09/01/1988
Strongly reminiscent of Ann Turner's recent Time of the Bison , this too is a beautifully written story about an artistic prehistoric boy. Adopted as an infant by the kind old woman Kala, Tao does not know his father. His mother, Kala tells him, gave him his gift for seeing beauty``the thing that makes you different from others.'' Determined to paint, despite the taboo against it, Tao is gradually cast from the clan. Now on the outside, he begins to view their superstitions skeptically: demons do not dwell in the forbidden slough, after all; and the wolf dog, Ram, despised by the clan, becomes Tao's devoted friend. This is an exciting, fabulously descriptive story set against violent times. Denzel's knowledge of the Stone Age enhances the action; moreover, with his tender, somewhat melancholy insights into ostracism and loyalty, he transcends the period. Ages 8-12. (September)
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