BATTLE OF THE BEASTS by Diz Wallis
Kirkus Star

BATTLE OF THE BEASTS

A Tale of Epic Proportions from the Brothers Grimm
adapted by & illustrated by
Age Range: 6 - 9
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KIRKUS REVIEW

In this luxurious, exuberantly over-the-top version of the Grimm Brothers’ “Willow Wren and the Bear,” the animals with wings and those with feet duke it out—and the fliers come out on top, thanks to some covert intelligence gathering. After Bear insults his tiny princelings (“Five puny little birdies in a nasty little nesty with a scrubby, shrubby garden all around”), King Wren gathers his winged troops to force an apology. (“There was twittering and tweeting, chirping and cheeping, and a raucous squawking from some slick, black crows.”) Bear likewise calls on his four-legged allies, but tiny Gnat, hiding in the shadows, hears Fox announce that lowering his tail will be the signal for retreat, and the ensuing battle lasts only long enough for Hornet to reach Fox’s rump. Wallis (Shoes of Satin, Ribbons of Silk, not reviewed) positively pours wildlife, rendered in vivid, Audubon-like detail, into her oversized paintings, posing creatures dramatically to show off the glories of fur and feather while adding deft comic touches. One magnificent painting faces each opposite page of large type that is decorated with snippets of nature that add texture to the telling. The language makes it wonderful for reading aloud; it’s all firmly tongue in cheek; and the magnificent illustrations amply repay close attention. (Picture book/folktale. 6-9)

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 2000
ISBN: 1-929927-15-0
Page count: 32pp
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1st, 2000




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