THE EARTH SHOOK by Donna Jo Napoli


by , illustrated by
Age Range: 5 - 8
Email this review


Human beings are so often vilified—justifiably—that it’s refreshing to find a story that juxtaposes our species’ finer qualities with its more monstrous ones. In this Persian-inspired tale (based on a 2003 earthquake in Bam, Iran), Parisa desperately seeks the company of another human being when her village is destroyed. She knocks on door after door, but hostile animals now occupy any still-standing homes. Boar says, “Hands like grasping vines, you remind me of a hunter who threw spears at me. See these tusks? Run, or I’ll gore a hole through you.” Parisa contemplates her maligned hand, as a hunting scene hovers over Boar’s head, petroglyph-like. From Bear to Snake, the animals shame her into masking her offending parts. Eventually, however, Parisa casts off her disguises to walk “as a human child under the sun,” laughing, dancing and sharing with her now-benevolent animal friends. Swiatkowska’s extraordinary artwork—textured oil paintings, decorative designs, splendid palette and artfully spare compositions—adds power and beauty to the poetic text that echoes Rumi. A gorgeous, discussion-provoking read-aloud. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Aug. 18th, 2009
ISBN: 978-1-4231-0448-3
Page count: 40pp
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15th, 2009


ChildrenDARK SHIMMER by Donna Jo Napoli
by Donna Jo Napoli
ChildrenHIDDEN by Donna Jo Napoli
by Donna Jo Napoli
ChildrenHANDS & HEARTS by Donna Jo Napoli
by Donna Jo Napoli
ChildrenA SINGLE PEARL by Donna Jo Napoli
by Donna Jo Napoli


ChildrenPLEASE, PAPA by Kate Banks
by Kate Banks
ChildrenINFINITY AND ME by Kate Hosford
by Kate Hosford
ChildrenTHIS BABY by Kate Banks
by Kate Banks