cover image The Lost Children: The Boys Who Were Neglected

The Lost Children: The Boys Who Were Neglected

Paul Goble. Bradbury Press, $14.95 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-02-736555-9

Based on a sacred myth of the Blackfoot Indians, this handsome picture book tells of six brothers sadly neglected by their contemporaries. Orphaned at an early age, clothed in rags and heaped with scorn, the boys ``did not wish to be people any longer.'' They decided to become stars (``we will always be beautiful'') and rose into the night sky to be with Father Sun and Mother Moon--myth has it that they were transformed into the Pleiades. Goble tells this story with earnest simplicity, a gentle cadence to his words imbuing the text with particular significance. His illustrations--dazzling in color, crisp and clean in design--prove typically arresting. Especially noteworthy are his scrupulously depicted tipis; an addendum explains the meaning of their symbols. Cars painted alongside the tipis in the final scene add a potent contemporary touch. Tied in with the message here--the importance of love for others--is a timely, subtle allusion to the plight of the homeless: ``They slept and ate in one place today, and another tomorrow, and they were always hungry. Their only clothes were what people had discarded.'' All ages. (Mar.)