cover image Theseus and the Minotaur

Theseus and the Minotaur

Warwick Hutton. Margaret K. McElderry Books, $14.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-689-50473-0

Hutton's distinguishing artistic strengths--a skillful hand at rendering and juxtaposing luminescence and shadow--are clearly evident in the delicate but dramatic watercolor paintings that illustrate this classic Greek myth. And yet, despite many striking individual scenes, the work as a whole is less satisfying and resonant than Hutton's strongest books (especially his masterful interpretations of biblical lore). His version of Theseus's journey across the water and through the Cretan Labyrinth, and home again by sea, seems to wander in search of an emotional and dramatic center: even the pivotal confrontation between the title characters has little narrative or visual force. And the intricacies of the maze do not, as shown, fully capture the imagination. Ages 6-10. (Sept.)