THE THIRD GIFT by Jan Carew

THE THIRD GIFT

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KIRKUS REVIEW

An African tale of the Jubas, their migration to a new land when their prophet Amakosa ""felt age nesting inside his tired limbs"" and ""endless seasons of drought and dust were scattering the Jubas and their herds like silk cotton blossoms in the wind,"" and of three successive leaders who win their posts by climbing higher up the Nameless Mountain than any of their competitors. The first winner, as proof of his attainment, brings back a glistening stone which reminds the people of the need to Work, the second carries down a flower that brings them Beauty, and the third, who goes farther than anyone and even beyond the clouds, comes back empty handed but -- by speaking eloquently of the downy whiteness which he had gathered as it fell from the sky, but which melted before he got home -- contributes the gift of Imagination. What the story lacks in drama it makes up in style; Carew's metaphoric prose occasionally verges on the flowery but the images are apt and often striking, and the Dillons' illustrations -- which resemble superimposed cutout layers in muted but glowing colors -- are lyrical and evocative.

Pub Date: July 25th, 1974
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Little, Brown