Rebel CL

Allan Baillie, Author, Di Wu, Illustrator Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) $13.95 (1p) ISBN 978-0-395-69250-9
Subdued illustrations dampen the inherent drama of this story, based on a real-life incident that occurred in Rangoon. Things look pretty grim for a small Burmese village when a general and his troops march in, flattening the school playground with their tanks and announcing the conditions of the new regime. The general's pomposity is punctured, however, by a small act of rebellion: a child flings a thong from the schoolhouse and bonks him on the head. Enraged, the dictator orders everyone out of the building, thinking to easily nab the one-shoed culprit. The children and their teachers outwit him by appearing barefoot en masse, and the laughter of villagers and soldiers alike causes the general such humiliation that he and his forces retreat. It's a bracing tale of courage in the face of tyranny, and Baillie makes the most of it. Wu is a competent illustrator; his faces in particular are enormously expressive and full of humanity, but a drab palette of khaki, olive and off-white creates a visual blandness. Ages 4-7. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 02/28/1994
Release date: 03/01/1994
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