Hamlet+enormous Kite CL

Brian Lies, Author, Brian Lies, Illustrator Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) $14.95 (1p) ISBN 978-0-395-68391-0
With precocious critters drawn in a clean, hard-edged style similar to that of Berkeley Breathed (minus the airbrush), Lies (illustrator of the Flatfoot Fox books) offers a promising picture book, his solo debut. No brooding Danish prince, his Hamlet is an adventure-loving young pig. Against the advice of Quince, his play-it-safe porcupine friend, Hamlet decides to go fly a kite--a huge scarlet dragon of the type used in Chinese New Year's parades. It dwarfs Hamlet and, when it catches a breeze, lifts him into the sky. Quince urges Hamlet to drop back down, but ``the farther up he went, the worse the idea of letting go seemed.'' Finally, a flock of eagles shreds the dragon and the porcine risk-taker plummets toward earth, landing safely in a tree. Kite-sailing readers familiar with the wind's strong tug will have no trouble imagining Hamlet's flight. Lies's most effective angle is a vertiginous close-up of the soaring eagles and kite, with Hamlet in the background and yellow fields far below. Only a few superfluities in the text keep this from being an all-out smash. Lies's rich autumnal palette, meticulously detailed images and ability to sustain narrative tension make him someone to watch. Ages 4-8. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 08/01/1994
Release date: 08/01/1994
Genre: Children's
Prebound-Sewn - 978-0-613-80413-4
Prebound-Sewn - 978-0-606-30992-9
Paperback - 32 pages - 978-1-931659-01-7
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