BOY

James Mayhew, Author, James Mayhew, Illustrator . Scholastic/Chicken House $15.95 (32p) ISBN 978-0-439-65106-6

It's not easy being a boy in Paleolithic times. Waking up one night in his family's chilly cave, Boy decides to head out and find a warm spot that's his alone (like many children, he'd be happy with the cozy place where his parents sleep—but only if his parents vacate). Mayhew (To Sleep Perchance to Dream ) follows Boy as he searches for what he calls "Warm." Each time the mop-headed fellow thinks he's found a place to hunker down, it turns out to belong to one of the very creatures that sent his family scurrying to shelter. "Here's warm," says Boy of a tree limb in a lush, lime-green forest—until a saber-toothed tiger reveals itself (astute readers will detect its paws and tail slightly camouflaged). A woolly mammoth is a bit friendlier—it swings Boy up on its trunk—but tells him that the grassy field is no-go because "I might step on you." Playfully disregarding paleontological scholarship, the author also includes an encounter with a striped and sleepy dinosaur. A brush with a volcano finally makes Boy realize that snuggling under an animal hide with Ma and Pa may not be so bad after all. Mayhew's velvety pictures pay homage to the sinewy renderings and burnished palettes of cave paintings. The story's structure and moral may be as old as the hills, but Mayhew's splendid drawings and spunky caveboy hero feel anything but outdated. Ages 5-up. (Oct.)

Reviewed on: 12/06/2004
Release date: 10/01/2004
Genre: Children's
Paperback - 32 pages - 978-1-4083-1409-8
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