cover image The Firebird: A Russian Folktale

The Firebird: A Russian Folktale

Demi, Hitz Demi. Henry Holt & Company, $16.95 (1pp) ISBN 978-0-8050-3244-4

Demi adopts a formal style for this opulent version of the famous Russian folktale, echoing the fine craft of cloisonne and the intricacies of Faberge in her gilded illustrations. The surfeit of visual riches helps carve out a niche for the book amongst the recent spate of retellings of this tale of the feckless archer Dimitri who, with the help of his magic Horse of Power, captures the Firebird and embarks on a chain of ever more difficult quests that culminate in his own transformation into a prince (see also Rachel Isadora's Firebird, reviewed above). Demi's many fans will recognize the hallmarks of her art: meticulous attention to detail (historical, natural and architectural), fluidity of line and, above all, an unrepentant taste for luxury. Ages 6-10. (Oct.)