Isabel Pin, Author, I. Pin, Author THE SEEDIsabel Pin

A surreal, post-apocalyptic landscape looms from the pages of French author and illustrator Pin's antiwar allegory. When a "strange, rolling rock" lands on the border between two insect tribes (the Scarabs and the Chafers), both groups determine that the rock is actually a cherry stone, and a tussle for ownership begins. Over a period of years, "both sides prepared for war with great inventiveness." On the day of the attack, however, the armies suddenly notice that the object of their dispute has grown into a cherry tree with "branches reaching out over both lands." If the moral lacks subtlety, Pin makes her point in a lighthearted manner, ultimately dwarfing the prose with a crazy quilt of unusual images. The insects—odd, angular creatures which appear to be part beetle, part cockroach—bristle with anticipation, hoarding their maps and contraptions, and the artist forms a Dali-esque backdrop from a mottled scrim of color harmonies that bounce from the lurid (flame reds, oranges and yellows) to the more subdued but still pungent tones (mustard and turquoise). Anaïs Vaugelade's The War (Children's Forecasts, Feb. 5) takes on the same topic with a wryer tone, but Pin pulls off her theme with élan, relying on an overarching integrity of design to unite the elements into a sophisticated but amiable whole. Ages 3-7. (Mar.)

Reviewed on: 02/26/2001
Release date: 02/01/2001
Hardcover - 32 pages - 978-0-7358-1408-0
Prebound-Sewn - 978-0-613-84075-0
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