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THE BOY WHO RAN WITH THE GAZELLES by Marianna Mayer

THE BOY WHO RAN WITH THE GAZELLES

By Marianna Mayer (Author) , Leonid Gore (Illustrator)

Age Range: 5 - 9

Pub Date: July 1st, 2005
ISBN: 0-8037-2522-1
Publisher: Dial

Stories of feral children abound, and they fascinate, but this one is disturbing in odd ways. A desert nomad woman has no milk, and so brings her pet gazelle for her small son to nurse. One day the boy and the gazelle wander off, and the tamed gazelle finds a herd of her own kind. She protects the boy and he learns to run and feed with the herd. Men with jeeps and nets discover and capture him; he’s terrified, will not eat and finally escapes. When he is spied in later years, grown but still with the gazelles, his discoverer does not speak of it, thinking the boy has found his home and should remain there. Gore’s golden, shimmering acrylic and pastel paintings show light and speed, terror and tenderness—the boy, though naked, is never seen fully. The young children at whom this is aimed may be confused about how the boy is actually fed, how he survives and why he is so unhappy when captured. A long author’s note about wild children doesn’t offer quite enough exegesis. (Picture book. 5-9)