THE TALE OF THE YELLOW TRIANGLE by Gustaf Sobin

THE TALE OF THE YELLOW TRIANGLE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Today,/ out of the blue,/ I became a magician./ My magic is this:/ to turn into whatever I see."" And so the empathic narrator who is pictured as a yellow triangle (in fact all the illustrations consist of abstract shapes) ""becomes"" a bird flying into a cloud (whereupon ""my cheeks puff and my mind turns white"") from which rain falls so that ""out of the earth, flowers climb"" -- the flowers seen as differently colored squares, circles and pinwheel shapes floating serenely on a variably blue page. Then the triangle is ""hugged"" by a huge sunflower (a sun-like corona framing concentric rings with a purple center) and rests blissfully in the flower's ""pillows"" until bright swirls of wind blow everything apart (""I watch the feathers and petals, then the fleece of my cloud, tip like rags through the ruined air""). At this point the triangle's desolate cries cause the sky to fill with stars (still pictured as basic squares, circles and triangles, this time on gray) and the earth with lights, and the trip ends in a fantasy of creation and cosmic power as ""I cry out/ until the whole world/ swirls around me/ like some marvellous top./ Then the cries/ end,/ and a song/ begins"" -- and a double page of glowing shapes encircles the yellow triangle. We suspect that the total absence of lifelike forms might discourage involvement, but don't forget Little Blue and Little Yellow. Certainly this striking Italian import lacks Lionni's warm simplicity, but it's probably worth trying on children who share the triangle's ""negative capability.

Pub Date: Oct. 22nd, 1973
Publisher: Braziller