NEKANE, THE LAMI•A AND THE BEAR by Frank P. Araujo

NEKANE, THE LAMI•A AND THE BEAR

A Tale of the Basque Pyrenees
adapted by & illustrated by
Age Range: 4 - 8
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KIRKUS REVIEW

 An American anthropologist of Basque descent retells a story remembered from his childhood. Nekane's mother sends her through the woods from their fishing village to Uncle Kepa with a gift of fish and olive oil, warning her to beware of the shape-shifting lami§a, a forest spirit who will steal the oil if it can. Armed by knowing that the lami§a ``is limited by the form it takes...doesn't like dogs...[and] will never let you see its feet,'' the child sets out. When the spirit appears as fog, she runs until the wind dissipates it; she bargains with a bear (not the lami§a) that wants to eat her (``My Uncle...will give you all the honey you can hold...''); then, when she finds the lami§a, in the guise of a fox, impersonating her uncle in his house, she tricks both antagonists so that the fox is chased away by the bear. In compellingly expressionistic art, the Chinese-born illustrator creates free-flowing images in vibrant watercolor; the vulnerable-looking child's sturdy feet and a rainbow-splashed dress presage that she'll be more than a match for the monumental bear and ever-so-pointy fox. Araujo's narration of this satisfying Red Riding Hood variant is brisk and informal, with plenty of lively dialogue that will be fun to share aloud. A fine story hour choice. (Folklore/Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Dec. 1st, 1993
ISBN: 1-877810-01-0
Page count: 32pp
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15th, 1993