THROUGH THE HEART OF THE JUNGLE

Jonathan Emmett, Author, Elena Gomez, Illustrator
Jonathan Emmett, Author, Elena Gomez, Illustrator , illus. by Elena Gomez. Tiger Tales $15.95 (32p) ISBN 978-1-58925-029-1
Reviewed on: 03/24/2003
Release date: 03/01/2003
Paperback - 32 pages - 978-1-58925-380-3
Prebound-Other - 978-0-606-29874-2
Prebound-Sewn - 978-0-613-85249-4
Hardcover - 30 pages - 978-0-340-85440-2
Hardcover - 30 pages - 978-0-340-85439-6
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It's a spider-eat-fly world in this House-that-Jack-Built–style tale of the tropics. The rhythmic text unravels an account of predator after predator becoming prey ("This is the toad with the big googly eye,/ that gulped down the spider,/ that gobbled the fly,/ that buzzed through the heart of the jungle"), but for all the momentary chaos, the story does not build to much of a climax. Gomez's textured, full-bleed paintings command more attention. The vibrant colors, applied with thick brushstrokes, feature a range of jungle greens, and she purposefully leaves bare the outlines of the shapes, allowing the orange background to show through with dramatic effect. The abstractions in the compositions are frequently compelling (if occasionally disorienting). For example, the point of view is difficult to determine at the opening, but a few subsequent spreads suggest that the audience has been looking at treetops reflected in a small pool of water. Like the text, the art conveys plenty of motion. Ages 3-6. (Mar.)

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