cover image Children of Yayoute: Folk Tales of Haiti

Children of Yayoute: Folk Tales of Haiti

Francois Turenne Des Pres, Francois Turenne Des Pres, Turenne Des Pres. Universe Publishing(NY), $19.95 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-87663-791-3

The legacy of the late Haitian artist and writer Turenne Des Pres (1907-1990) is vibrantly preserved in this beautifully produced collection of 12 folktales. The stories, originally published in Haiti in 1949 without illustrations, are paired here with paintings culled from the more than 300 works executed by Turenne Des Pres. Together art and text build a vision of Haiti, with its abundant vegetation, rich customs and voodoo rituals. Wry prose explains why cats are always running from dogs, why chickens scratch for roaches; witch-doctors, kings and magic fish appear as well. Pictures are reproduced in varying scales, with silhouetted figures also dropped in. In this way, the book has the sophisticated feel of a museum catalogue, yet it is zesty enough to maintain a child's attention. The art itself is pleasingly simple in its lines, busy with people and alive with color. A visual treasure, this book is also ideal for reading aloud. Ages 7-up. (June)