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KOGI’S MYSTERIOUS JOURNEY by Elizabeth Partridge Kirkus Star


adapted by Elizabeth Partridge & illustrated by Aki Sogabe

Age Range: 8 - 11

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2003
ISBN: 0-525-47078-6
Publisher: Dutton

Partridge, author of several studies on how art or artists are made, focuses on transformations and artistic epiphanies in this powerfully retold Japanese legend. Releasing a fish after failed attempts to capture its essence on paper, Kogi suddenly finds himself transformed into a golden carp in the depths of Lake Biwa. In sprayed paper cuts often reminiscent of David Wisniewski’s serrated constructs, fish, waves, and beams of moonlight sweep across the pages as Sogabe captures the inner intensity of Kogi’s experience—not only the thrill and power of freedom, but terror too, as he is helplessly caught by a fisherman, sold and (signaled by a page of abstract red and black) killed. Kogi then wakes up on his pallet, and goes on to paint fish so deeply real that they actually swim off the pages. And, ultimately, he becomes in truth the fish he dreamed of being. Though the subtler insights here may have more meaning for adults, children too will respond to the beauty of the art and page design—and Kogi’s dream makes disturbing, universally compelling reading. (author note) (Picture book/folktale. 8-11)