cover image Time of the Bison

Time of the Bison

Ann Warren Turner. MacMillan Publishing Company, $12.95 (54pp) ISBN 978-0-02-789300-7

The lives of primitive cave dwellers, an unlikely subject for children's fiction, emerge in this short novel about a boy with an artistic, mystical gift. Scar Boy longs for a special talent, and thus a name, that will bring him distinction. (His father, too, had felt the same way as a boy.) In this deliberately told, quiet story, we see him discovering that he can paint the ""animal pictures'' that his people need and revereand we see how deeply this affects him. Tyler's simple prose is exactingly descriptive; her precision helps define the nature of Scar Boy's creative urge, which ``frightened him and made him happy.'' Peck's dark illustrations are strongly composed; although faces are depicted inconsistently, the pictures call attention to pivotal scenes and match the expectant mood of the text. Ages 7-10. (October)