The Little Barbarian

Renato Moriconi. Eerdmans, $17 (48p) ISBN 978-0-8028-5509-1
The little barbarian of the title runs across the bottom of the page, helmet on, shield and sword at the ready. His black horse awaits him. A page turn, and the barbarian is off: he’s up at the top of the page, leaping across a gaping chasm! A turn later, he’s at the bottom of the page, attacked by a flock of murderous birds! Then, top, leaping across a nest of vipers; then, bottom, under a rain of arrows. Loosely stroked watercolors by Brazilian artist Moriconi give impish humor to the nightmarish dangers the little barbarian faces, while the visual up-and-down rhythm hints at what’s to come. When the barbarian’s secret is revealed, readers will want to return to his adventures for another look. The wordless pages, tall and narrow, provide dramatic white backdrops for the action. And Moriconi’s simple, even wise, adventure salutes the power of a child’s imagination, which unspools endless visions of danger, courage, desperate rescue, and victory. Ages 4–8. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 06/25/2018
Release date: 08/21/2018
Genre: Children's
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