JUNA'S JOURNEY by David Kherdian

JUNA'S JOURNEY

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Age Range: 6 & up
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KIRKUS REVIEW

 In his village, white-bearded Juna ``dreamt for others, and as his dreams were his guide, he in turn became a guide for others''--until an enigmatic dream sets him on a last journey. On the way, he meets six other ``helpers'': Paloa, whose boat carries him over a river; Zelio, who chooses the best of three ravines; etc. In the end, ``leaving forever behind,'' the seven are carried upward by balloon to a ``new beginning'' they have earned through ``their trust in something bigger than themselves.'' Though written with some grace by a Newbery Honor winner, this parable is too cerebral for most readers. There's virtually no characterization; and the ripple of interest on the story's surface comes from asides whose real intent is their secondary messages rather than their relation to the plot--which has neither the dramatic tension of a true adventure nor a sense of revelation given by fresh insights. On the other hand, Hogrogian (two Caldecotts) realizes the imaginary scene with a certain beauty in mixed-media art depicting the good-hearted pilgrims in a spare landscape of elemental simplicity. A gentle book that may find a place in thoughtful discussions of the hereafter. (Fiction/Picture book. 6+)

Pub Date: April 21st, 1993
ISBN: 0-399-22010-0
Page count: 48pp
Publisher: Philomel
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15th, 1993




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