cover image The Legend of the White Doe

The Legend of the White Doe

William H. Hooks. MacMillan Publishing Company, $14.95 (44pp) ISBN 978-0-02-744350-9

This little-known legend about the first English child born in America, Virginia Dare, is smoothly told and elegantly produced. It treats Virginia as a symbol of her Roanoke Island colony, whose inhabitants disappeared sometime between 1587 and 1590. Raised devotedly by Indians, Virginia was killed, the legend relates, when she and her lover fled his rivalmuch as the colony itself was destroyed by rivals. Ultimately, Virginia was reborn in the form of a beautiful white doe that lives eternally, ""a ghost deer.'' Although the meaning of the story is perhaps too subtle some young readers, the plot is strong. Nolan's lush cover picture of the lovers depicts them in flight, hair streaming, against deep green. While most of the other pictures are statically composed, they add to the story's haunting quality. Ages 8-up. (March)