cover image Catskill Eagle/A

Catskill Eagle/A

Thomas Locker, Herman Melville. Philomel Books, $15.95 (1pp) ISBN 978-0-399-21857-6

Locker paints a tribute to the eagles of the Catskills, using a brief passage from Moby Dick as his point of departure. In context, it's part of an extended section on the need for sorrow to give depth to the most exalted minds: ``There is a Catskill eagle in some souls . . . even in his lowest swoop the mountain eagle is still higher than the other birds upon the plain, even though they soar.'' The text only loosely matches up with Locker's subject, and is almost certainly too sophisticated and abstract for young readers. It does, however, carry the cachet of Melville's name, and Locker parallels it with a series of double-page paintings in his Hudson River school style. Locker aficionados will admire the varied moods and lighting of his paintings, but this is more a fine-art portfolio for adults than a picture book for children. Ages 5-up. (Sept.)