A wealthy lord has everything, yet it’s never enough until deprivation teaches him life’s true riches.
Lying in luxury atop Hunger Mountain, a haughty cat lord lives in excess. His clothes are spun from silk and gold, and he always leaves his bowl of the finest rice half eaten. But a drought begins, and famine spreads. The villagers leave; still the arrogant feline stays, refusing to part with his possessions. Finally, starving and alone, the lord ventures out and must beg for food. When a kindly monk gives him a spoonful of rice—the grains of which were collected from the cat’s wasted extravagance at Hunger Mountain—the lord finally understands what it means to be blessed. The well-paced fable is visually stunning, as photographs, textured paper, string, and other materials combine into magnificent paper collage illustrations. At times abstract but always beautifully composed, the artwork shows a deep appreciation for its audience, boldly challenging readers to interpret and extract meaning. During the cat’s epiphany, the mountain and mist resolve into a symbolic panda servant dutifully washing the rich lord’s rice. In a time when almost all illustrators use digital manipulation, this artist only needs paper and scissors to assemble a brilliant image.
Young is at the height of his powers in this fable that offers a feast for the eyes, mind, and soul. A visual masterpiece. (Picture book. 4-8)