DOGS OF MYTH

TALES FROM AROUND THE WORLD

Man’s best friend is at the heart of 13 curious tales culled from worldwide traditions, crossing oceans and time. From Africa to Arabia, China to Japan, the stories span a range in both tone and subject matter. While many of the stories appeared in the Hausmans’ The Mythology of Dogs (1997), those regathered here are the archetypal and mythological, the fanciful and magical, including ghost dogs, immortals, and canine heroes who speak and sing, marry princesses, transform, catch flying bullets in their teeth, and recover magic rings. A two-inch-tall faery dog shines in “King Herla’s Hound,” while the mighty Thor’s companion reveals why the watchdog Rottweiler’s fierce growl sounds like thunder in the throat in the pourquoi tale “Thunder Mouth Dog.” The Hausmans are well-grounded in both folkloric elements and storytelling sensibility, arranging their tales in short chapters such as “Trickster Dogs,” “Enchanted Dogs,” and “Guardian Dogs”; they punctuate each with an explanatory, if complex, punchline of sorts. Moser’s characteristically striking design portrays the akita and basenji, spaniel and shar-pei as if the dogs posed for portrait sittings. Singular compositions focus on each dog as individual, without ornament or fanfare, as if in sculptural relief, carved against the surrounding vast plane of the page. (notes, sources) (Folklore. 8-14)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-689-80696-5

Page Count: 96

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 1999

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DORY STORY

Who is next in the ocean food chain? Pallotta has a surprising answer in this picture book glimpse of one curious boy. Danny, fascinated by plankton, takes his dory and rows out into the ocean, where he sees shrimp eating those plankton, fish sand eels eating shrimp, mackerel eating fish sand eels, bluefish chasing mackerel, tuna after bluefish, and killer whales after tuna. When an enormous humpbacked whale arrives on the scene, Danny’s dory tips over and he has to swim for a large rock or become—he worries’someone’s lunch. Surreal acrylic illustrations in vivid blues and red extend the story of a small boy, a small boat, and a vast ocean, in which the laws of the food chain are paramount. That the boy has been bathtub-bound during this entire imaginative foray doesn’t diminish the suspense, and the facts Pallotta presents are solidly researched. A charming fish tale about the one—the boy—that got away. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2000

ISBN: 0-88106-075-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: N/A

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2000

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THE BARN OWLS

From Johnston (An Old Shell, 1999, etc.), poetic phrases that follow a ghostly barn owl through days and nights, suns and moons. Barn owls have been nesting and roosting, hunting and hatching in the barn and its surroundings for as long as the barn has housed spiders, as long as the wheat fields have housed mice, “a hundred years at least.” The repetition of alliterative words and the hushed hues of the watercolors evoke the soundless, timeless realm of the night owl through a series of spectral scenes. Short, staccato strings of verbs describe the age-old actions and cycles of barn owls, who forever “grow up/and sleep/and wake/and blink/and hunt for mice.” Honey-colored, diffused light glows in contrast to the star-filled night scenes of barn owls blinking awake. A glimpse into the hidden campestral world of the elusive barn owl. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2000

ISBN: 0-88106-981-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: N/A

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2000

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