Lord of the Animals

Fiona French, Author, Fiona French, Author, Fiona French, Illustrator Millbrook Press $17.95 (32p) ISBN 978-0-7613-0112-7
Filled with an array of kaleidoscopic patterns, French's (Snow White in New York) inventively stylized pictures are the most striking feature of this book. Against a background of jagged angles and concentric swirls, the animal characters, often patterned much like Missoni textiles, argue about which attributes the ""Lord of the Animals"" should possess: the bear thinks, ""He must have a big growl""; the sheep would give him horns to butt with. After Coyote derides his fellow creatures for modeling their prospective ruler after themselves, he creates man--as ""cunning and clever"" as himself--out of clay. While it is a little disappointing in terms of narrative that ""crafty"" Coyote's craftiness consists merely of staying up later than the other animals to finish his clay model, French's storytelling is pithy and informal. The patterns in her illustrations--which combine earth tones, brilliant colors and black-and-white graphics--can lack coherence, but this work, based on the lore of the vanishing Miwok Indians of California, is as a whole a clever and crafty creation. Ages 5-9. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 03/31/1997
Release date: 04/01/1997
Paperback - 32 pages - 978-1-84507-517-0
Paperback - 32 pages - 978-1-84507-916-1
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