Storm Boy (Cloth)

Paul Owen Lewis, Author
Paul Owen Lewis, Author Beyond Words Publishing $14.95 (1p) ISBN 978-1-885223-12-8
Reviewed on: 04/03/1995
Release date: 04/01/1995
Lewis (Davy's Dream) draws on folkloric and artistic traditions of the Pacific Northwest coastal tribes for this somewhat attentuated tale. Thrown from his canoe during a storm, a boy is ``washed ashore under a strange sky he had never seen before.'' Inhabitants of the coastal village, who are very large and dressed in vivid garb, welcome him with a feast and a celebration. The chief recognizes the boy's homesickness and returns him to ``his very own village''--where he discovers that a year has passed in his absence. Though the totem-like motifs of Lewis's boldly colored and sharply defined artwork provide drama, several illustrations are repetitious. Also, despite a few clues (fish swimming in what appears to be the sky, killer whales displayed like trophies in one of the strangers' houses) the story's key element may perplex younger readers--these ``finely dressed people'' are in fact whales in human form. A comprehensive--and sophisticated--author's note credits the mythological motifs encountered in the story (Separation, Initiation and Return) to the writings of Joseph Campbell. Ages 5-10. (May)
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