THE HUNTER by Mary Casanova
Kirkus Star

THE HUNTER

A Chinese Folktale
adapted by & illustrated by
Age Range: 7 - 10
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

In this spare retelling of a Chinese folk tale, a hunter receives a wonderful gift that ultimately costs him his life. When Hai Li Bu rescues a small snake who turns out to be the daughter of the Dragon King of the Sea, her grateful father gives the young hunter the ability to understand the language of animals—with a warning that he will turn to stone if he ever reveals his secret. One day the animals herald the approach of a devastating storm. Hai Li Bu is unable to convince the local villagers to flee until, at last, he resolutely tells his story, turning to stone bit by bit before their horrified eyes. Against almost featureless flecked backgrounds in which warm, subtly modulated browns are the dominant colors, Young (A Pup Just For Me/A Boy Just For Me, 1999, etc.) places figures formed by strong, economically brushed outlines; their placement opens up great depth and space in each scene, and both the dragon’s spiky hugeness and Hai Li Bu’s quiet heroism are clear to see. A Chinese ideogram or two in the bottom corner of each spread adds a thematic caption, explained in a key. After the catastrophe, the chastened villagers return to rebuild, erect Hai Li Bu as his own monument, and forever after are careful to “listen to every person, even the youngest child.” As much about the changing character of Hai Li Bu’s community as about his own selflessness, this multilayered tale will leave readers moved and thoughtful. (Picture book/folk tale. 7-10)

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2000
ISBN: 0-689-82906-X
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Atheneum
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15th, 2000




MORE BY MARY CASANOVA

ChildrenICE-OUT by Mary Casanova
by Mary Casanova
ChildrenWAKE UP, ISLAND by Mary Casanova
by Mary Casanova
ChildrenONE-DOG SLEIGH by Mary Casanova
by Mary Casanova

MORE BY ED YOUNG

ChildrenMIGHTY MOBY by Ed Young
by Ed Young
ChildrenNIGHTTIME NINJA by Barbara DaCosta
by Barbara DaCosta
ChildrenA STRANGE PLACE TO CALL HOME by Marilyn Singer
by Marilyn Singer

SIMILAR BOOKS SUGGESTED BY OUR CRITICS:

ChildrenTHE DINNER THAT COOKED ITSELF by J.C. Hsyu
by J.C. Hsyu