Books by Jamichael Henterly

GOOD NIGHT, GARDEN GNOME by Jamichael Henterly
CHILDREN'S
Released: March 1, 2001

This essentially wordless ("Good night, Garden Gnome" is the full extent of text) picture book spices its simple flavor of fantasy with the ever-so-uneasy strangeness radiated by an ordinary garden gnome. The story opens with a young girl squiring her dolls and stuffed animals about the yard in a red wagon. One of the characters in the wagon is a garden gnome of the long-beard-and-Alpine-garb persuasion. It is his vacant stare that gives off the spooky edge, though he seems a jolly enough sort and no stiffer or less lifelike than the others. When it is time for the girl to go in for the night, she leaves the gnome outside, at which point he comes to life—eyes still vacant—to do his evening's work. Here he's much more accomplished than the creature she's dumped into the birdbath or dressed up in doll clothes. He's guarding the garden against slugs, helping to feed the rabbits and birds, warding off the cat, communing with the mice and turtles as the sun rises. Then he returns to the little girl one of the stuffed animals left behind the night before. There is even a little bit of adventure when a dog almost buries the gnome, but all comes out right in this gentle salute to the imagination, elegantly caught from the gnome's-eye view in the saturated colors of the evening. Who knew they had it in them? (Picture book. 3-5)Read full book review >
YOUNG LANCELOT by Robert D. San Souci
ADVENTURE
Released: Nov. 1, 1996

From the collaborators behind Young Guinevere (1993), a version of the story of Lancelot, orphaned and raised by Niniane, the Lady of the Lake. Sent to King Arthur for training, the young man excels, but his cold and arrogant ways make him enemies. When allowed to test himself, he succeeds twice; a third test eludes him until he sees how selfish he has been. The prose is mannered, with words and phrases that set the mood yet do not obscure the tale. Although the illustrations are colorful and filled with enticing details on medieval costumes, embroidery, tapestry, and decoration, the action and characters can appear quite static. Some of the people are listless in their poses, staring inexplicably into the distance; others are done as full frontal portraits, gazing out at readers; still others—the wailing of a widow, a battle with a giant—interrupt the sheer elegance of the telling with melodrama. Vibrant, but flawed. (Picture book/folklore. 6-10) Read full book review >
HEART OF A TIGER by Marsha Diane Arnold
ANIMALS
Released: Oct. 1, 1995

Arnold makes an appealing debut in a book set in India. A small gray kitten must choose his name in the week before the Name Day celebration. He follows a Bengal tiger, certain that he must learn its ways and adopt its name or one that is just as powerful. Ultimately he saves the tiger's life and becomes Bangali Sher Ka Dil—Heart of a Tiger. Green and gold dominate the sumptuous paintings of the forest. Henterly uses dramatic or unusual perspectives: a close-up of the snarling face of the tiger; the reflection of the cat and some parakeets in a rain puddle. The author opens with a pronunciation guide and concludes with a note on Namakarana, the Indian naming ceremony, briefly describing similar ceremonies in other countries. (Picture book. 6-8) Read full book review >
YOUNG GUINEVERE by Robert D. San Souci
CHILDREN'S
Released: March 1, 1993

A few fragments of legend—which San Souci, in a cursory note mentioning ``a variety of classic and contemporary sources,'' does not sort out from his own additions—are padded out to create a story about Guinevere as a girl who enjoys rambling the woods, where she encounters a unicorn and other legendary creatures; later, some of these figure in her urgent mission to the new King Arthur to request his aid against enemies besieging her father's castle. The story ends with Arthur and Guinevere's marriage, despite predictions of sorrow to follow. The narrative is accessible but too contemporary in style to suggest the flavor of heroic Arthurian Britain. Henterley cites eclectic inspirations—the Bayeaux Tapestry and the Book of Kells—for his carefully wrought but rather garish illustrations (sure to attract readers). His elfin, auburn-haired heroine is genuinely appealing, and, sure, this Guinevere is a strong female protagonist, but she's also a problematic pastiche of ancient romance and a thoroughly modern point of view. (Folklore/Picture book. 7-10) Read full book review >