THE STONE LION by Alan Schroeder


adapted by & illustrated by
Age Range: 5 - 10
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 An unsourced retelling of a Tibetan tale with the familiar theme of a good-hearted and a greedy brother who each receives his just deserts. After Drashi's dishonest brother Jarlo throws him and their elderly mother out of his home, the two settle on a barren mountain. One day--because Drashi preserves the mountain's ecology by using only dead branches for his fire--the ``Guardian of the Mountain'' (a stone lion at its summit) rewards him with a bucket of gold. The story is similar to ``The Stone Lion'' by Constance Smedley (wife of a British diplomat in Tibet), in Mary Gould Davis's A Baker's Dozen (1930); Schroeder changes some of the motivation (in Smedley's version the mother goes with the good son because the other's behavior grieves her) and adds proper names and details of Tibetan culture. Doney makes an auspicious picture book debut with luminous paintings of a beautiful mountain setting. His realistic figures are carefully posed, but the oversized Chinese-style lion-dog seems out of place; a ``lifelike'' lion (as described by Smedley--perhaps like the one on the Tibetan flag) would be more in keeping with the story. All in all, a bit more accessible but with less narrative energy than Smedley's version, while the lavish art is sure to appeal. (Folklore/Picture book. 5-10)

Pub Date: March 1st, 1994
ISBN: 0-684-19578-X
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Scribner
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1st, 1994


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