Cities of gold have haunted imaginations seemingly forever, but this story of an explorer's search for one such city, the...

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THE FIRST STORY EVER TOLD

Cities of gold have haunted imaginations seemingly forever, but this story of an explorer's search for one such city, the fabled Vilcabamba--inspired by the creation tales of the Incas of Peru--begins and ends in the banal. An anonymous explorer ""discovers"" a map to the city in a museum display--a map that despite the traffic in the museum, no one else has noticed. He follows the map through a romanticized landscape--the Mountains of the Moon, the Valley of Shadow, the River of the Rainbow (yes, a rainbow hovers over it)--gets tired, sleeps. Grandmother Fire visits in the night to tell the explorer the first story ever told, a creation myth, after which he awakens to see ""the jungle shining golden in the early morning light. . . . And he knew that he had found Vilcabamba."" The language is competent but unmoving; neither words nor illustrations provide a solid basis from which the inner journey--no matter how valid and important--can be launched. Yoshi's illustrations are surprisingly corny, static, and inconsistent: The explorer looks like a boy in some scenes, a man in others.

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 1996

ISBN: 1416989617

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 1996