Turner, who has done several distinguished books On historical themes, here produces a routine story about the genesis of an ancient artist. Scar Boy knows that his name, derived from the mark on his face, is not permanent: his real name will be given when his most outstanding talent or deed is revealed to his small, cave-dwelling tribe. One day his grandmother, disturbed and fascinated by his habit of making pictures, gives him a small bison carved out of bone. That night, inspired, Scar Boy creates a horse from clay. His clan, atoned and a little frightened by this sudden talent, decides to break a longstanding custom and send him to the gathering of clans so that the riddle of his ""magic"" power may be answered. There, Scar Boy meets an artist who leads him to a cave of paintings and to his future: he will be an artist, called Animal Shaper. This is not a new plot, but Turner makes very real the extraordinary power that is the artist's potential. Also interesting is her attention to the details of cave-dwelling life and her evocations of the ideas of the people of that era. Peck's drawings, brownish and smudgy, reflect both the details of the text and the slight aura of mysticism. Still, as an introduction to the lives of early peoples, this is more utilitarian than outstanding.