THE FIRST STORY EVER TOLD by Erik Jendresen

THE FIRST STORY EVER TOLD

by & & illustrated by
Age Range: 4 - 8
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KIRKUS REVIEW

 Cities of gold have haunted imaginations seemingly forever, but this story of an explorer's search for one such city, the fabled Vilcabamba--inspired by the creation tales of the Incas of Peru--begins and ends in the banal. An anonymous explorer ``discovers'' a map to the city in a museum display--a map that despite the traffic in the museum, no one else has noticed. He follows the map through a romanticized landscape--the Mountains of the Moon, the Valley of Shadow, the River of the Rainbow (yes, a rainbow hovers over it)--gets tired, sleeps. Grandmother Fire visits in the night to tell the explorer the first story ever told, a creation myth, after which he awakens to see ``the jungle shining golden in the early morning light. . . . And he knew that he had found Vilcabamba.'' The language is competent but unmoving; neither words nor illustrations provide a solid basis from which the inner journey- -no matter how valid and important--can be launched. Yoshi's illustrations are surprisingly corny, static, and inconsistent: The explorer looks like a boy in some scenes, a man in others. (Picture book/folklore. 4-8)

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 1996
ISBN: 0-689-80515-2
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1st, 1996




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