Trunk to Trunklet

Jorge Luján, trans. from the Spanish by John Oliver Simon, illus. by Mandana Sadat. Enchanted Lion (Consortium, dist.), $16.95 (32p) ISBN 978-1-59270-194-0
Luján and Sadat, who collaborated on Moví la mano/I Moved My Hand, pair short verses about mother animals and their babies with striking images. As translator, Simon keeps things loose, finding the right words to maintain the cozy atmosphere: “Mommy seal nuzzles/ nose to nose with her pup/ Warm fur and whiskers/ keep them snuggled up.” (Purists may note a few awkward vocabulary choices, as when the mother elephant calls her calf “at twilight on the prairie.”) Slate gray, woodblock-like shapes of mother animals and their young dance across the pages, their bodies and surroundings textured with leather, stone, wood grain, leaf, and textile rubbings, and heavy, cream-colored paper contributes to the book’s handmade feel. It’s a distinctive combination: warm and fuzzy verse accompanied by primitive, provocative images. Ages 3–7. (May)
Reviewed on: 03/14/2016
Release date: 05/01/2016
Genre: Children's
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