Kirkus Reviews QR Code
TRUPP by Janell Cannon


A Fuzzhead Tale

by Janell Cannon & illustrated by Janell Cannon

Age Range: 4 - 8

Pub Date: April 1st, 1995
ISBN: 0-15-200130-1
Publisher: Harcourt

 Trupp, a white, furry, catlike animal from a mythical, mountainous region, decides to see the world. Taking the clothes from a scarecrow for a disguise, and befriending a raven in the process, he hops onto a freight train, and arrives in a polluted urban setting. There are the familiar trials of the noble savage in a modern city: He is chased out of a fountain, yelled at for eating bread crumbs intended for birds, and winds up in a bad part of town. A homeless woman--the only person who recognizes him for what he really is--takes him under her wing. After a sample of her life- -a violent encounter, a meal in a back alley, a night spent in the park--Trupp decides it's time to go home. A seemingly moralistic story in print is raised to the level of gripping drama by the pictures. By wielding a brutal perspective and juxtaposing grainy detail in the foreground with shallow depth of field, Cannon (Stellaluna, 1993) gives her illustrations the look of photographs, except that her hero is imaginary. Since it can't be photographic realism, perhaps it's photographic magical realism? Viewing these pictures approximates the thrill of watching a movie, even one that is full of clichÇs. By reproducing this effect so powerfully, Cannon creates a unique reading experience. (Picture book. 4-8)