SACRED ANIMALS by Kris Waldherr


Age Range: 9 - 12
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Using “sacred” in a very broad sense, Waldherr (Harvest, not reviewed, etc.) pairs luxuriant, romanticized portraits of 16 creatures (three of which are mythical) with related folk lore from diverse cultures, paraphrased legends, and bits of natural history. The artist shows a weak sense of design: a triple image of Noah’s Ark behind the Dove is likely to bewilder young viewers, and both art and text are placed within distractingly wide, elaborate frames throughout. And though, to judge from the list of sources, she has done some research, statements like, “Tales of the vampire, or nosferatu, were spread throughout Europe by Gypsies,” or “The name ‘butterfly’ is often applied to a person whose major occupation is the pursuit of pleasure,” are simplistic at best. The pictures convey a dreamy world in which the natural and supernatural are not so far apart—but collections like Mayo’s Mythical Birds and Beasts from Many Lands (1997) offer better-told stories and deeper insight. (Folklore. 9-12)

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2001
ISBN: 0-688-16379-3
Page count: 48pp
Publisher: HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1st, 2001


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