THE SEA LION by Ken Kesey


by & illustrated by
Age Range: 8 - 12
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In an original tale that draws on the folklore of the Pacific Northwest Indians, a boy whose assigned task is making spoons outwits a supernatural visitor disguised as a majestically tall stranger. Eemook, despised as a slave and a cripple, has been brought up by independent old Um-Lalagic, also no favorite; his only friend is the chief's daughter, Shoola. However, Eemook is a gifted artisan; and when the other Sea Cliff People are mesmerized by the chiefs mischievous guest, he challenges the newcomer to a potlatch that unmasks him for the sea creature he really is; still, next spring all the girls except Shoola bear babies that become the Sea Lion People. A vigorous narrative--pungent, well honed, and sparked with humor (especially concerning Um-Lalagic's flatulence)--and handsomely set within Waldman's intricately varied borders and framed illustrations, employing silhouettes in gently modulated colors and stark black. An unusual fantasy, fine for reading aloud, in format that will recommend it as a gift item. (Fiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1991
ISBN: 0140549501
Page count: 48pp
Publisher: Viking
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1st, 1991


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