Were You a Wild Duck, Where Would You Go?

George Mendoza, Author, Jane Osborn-Smith, Illustrator
George Mendoza, Author, Jane Osborn-Smith, Illustrator Stewart, Tabori, & Chang $14.95 (31p) ISBN 978-1-55670-136-8
Reviewed on: 05/01/1990
Release date: 05/01/1990
The efforts and presumed intent of author and illustrator are to be commended in this artfully produced book that makes an eloquent plea for ecological awareness. And while this important issue should be brought to young people's attention, this work seems somewhat contradictory: a skillfully written (though occasionally pretentious), stunningly illustrated picture book--for adults. Lyrical in its language, Mendoza's narrative poem will surely be beyond the grasp of most children. For example: ``A fisherman . . . wades soundlessly into the current pebbly with stars, / casting his line, silvery-liquid, under falling night.'' This imagery, while haunting and evocative, is bound to present problems of interpretation for young readers. Osborn-Smith's pastel paintings are striking in their composite designs; but here too, her frequently abstract pictures possess subtleties that will elude most youngsters' vision. Ages 6-up. (Apr.)
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