cover image THE FIRST FEUD: Between the Mountain and the Sea

THE FIRST FEUD: Between the Mountain and the Sea

Lynn Plourde, , illus. by Jim Sollers. . Down East, $15.95 (30pp) ISBN 978-0-89272-611-0

From the team behind Moose, of Course! comes a fable explaining how the Pine Tree State came to be. The snowcapped mountain Katahdin and the Atlantic Ocean each claim to be the most beautiful place in the North Land, and each sets out to prove its supremacy, e.g., "the mountain broke off a dazzling icicle from atop its peak and sent it in the eagle's talons back to the sea." Mishaps (the icicle melts en route, a necklace of shells gets crushed under a moose's hooves) result in misunderstandings, and so begins an all-out war. Maine author Plourde's (Snow Day ) tale has the confident overtones of a Native American legend as Sollers's vibrant paintings personify the two rivals. Large, sweeping brushstrokes create the angular rocks that form the mountain's harsh facial features, while the ocean's emerald, foamy swells curl into menacing jaws and hands. At their angriest, each assumes an action-figure, cartoon-like countenance. When unleashing their separate furies destroys the land between them (Maine), mountain and sea finally can see each other's grandeur and vow to work together to heal the devastation. While this tale is likeliest to have regional appeal, the message that miscommunication can breed conflict, and that communication can restore harmony, has universal application. Ages 5-up. (Nov.)