Why?

Nikolai Popov, Author
Nikolai Popov, Author NorthSouth $15.95 (1p) ISBN 978-1-55858-534-8
Reviewed on: 04/01/1996
Release date: 04/01/1996
Paperback - 1 pages - 978-1-55858-535-5
Paperback - 48 pages - 978-1-55858-996-4
Prebound-Sewn - 978-0-613-93379-7
Prebound-Glued - 978-0-606-22484-0
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A strong anti-war message and lithe, incandescent artwork propel this affecting wordless picture book. As the curtain rises, a lone frog sits sniffing a posy in a verdant spot. His serenity is shattered with the arrival of an umbrella-wielding mouse who sets upon him and steals his flower. The frog's parents retaliate, ousting the mouse, and the conflict quickly escalates. The Russian artist's delicate, slightly misty watercolors, with their droll animal characters and tranquil palette, provide a vivid foil to the cautionary theme; the gun blasts and explosions are consequently all the more jarring. In the end, the opposing forces leave the pastoral setting blown to smithereens, the green meadow scorched and the sunshine obscured by the smoke of battle. Why, indeed? Even the youngest reader will quickly grasp the point of Popov's forceful allegory. Ages 5-8. (Apr.)
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