cover image The Dog Who Walked with God

The Dog Who Walked with God

Michael J. Rosen. Candlewick Press (MA), $16.99 (40pp) ISBN 978-0-7636-0470-7

Rosen's (Down to Earth) disjointed retelling of a Kato creation legend describes a time in which land, animals and man have all been washed away; now the Great Traveler, with a dog as his companion, is recreating the world from its vast waters. In first-timer Fellows's dramatic watercolors, the vague gray figure of Great Traveler emerges from the darkness to join his dog, fully formed and in color. Sometimes Great Traveler takes the shape of a giant, his fingers holding a birch tree between them or piling a giant pillar of rocks, other times he stands man-sized atop a cliff or strolls through a field. The ambiguity of the deity may be confusing to readers, who will likely be most at home with the breathtaking landscapes and insets of wildlife. In a stunning spread, Fellows effectively uses a sketch-journal approach, reminiscent of da Vinci's, to chronicle the making of man. This technique--pencil drawings with a judicious use of brown watercolor wash--suggests shadows of things to come, ideas of beings not yet materialized. Rosen's text, which purportedly echoes the cadence of a Kato man's narration recorded in 1906, is less effective and comes off as clumsy (e.g., "" `For what shall I make the sun?' he said, they say, and he decided fire, for heat""). Gaps in logic may trouble readers, too (e.g., why is the Great Traveler so perplexed by his own creation? And why was the world wiped out to begin with?). Visual feast though this may be, it is best served alongside other creation myths to help readers grapple with the discrepancies. Ages 6-up. (Apr.)