GHOST HANDS by T.A. Barron

GHOST HANDS

by , illustrated by

KIRKUS REVIEW

The ubiquity of the handprint in cave art around the world, and Patagonia in particular, begs unresolved questions about the image’s meaning; Barron’s invented back story posits that healers, warriors and others who contributed to the common good may have been thus memorialized.

Adding to the intrigue in Argentina’s Cueva de las Manos is the appearance of a footprint. Combining suspense with coincidence to imagine what prompted this singularity, Barron offers this tale narrated by a son of the Tehuelche tribe. When Auki begs to go hunting, his father admonishes him to wait: “To hunt you must be strong. And brave—brave enough to face the puma. For the puma, too, is a hunter….” The child sets out alone. Digitally rendered compositions teem with texture and depth. Light and shadow crisscross the cliffs, and loose strokes animate the players. In a dramatic double-page spread, the beast appears, fangs bared, facing the reader and the boy. While fleeing, the protagonist wounds his foot, stumbling upon the secret cave “visited only by elders…and…ghosts.” A climactic scene pitting the savage animal against the aged cave painter portrays Auki’s foot as a weapon—one worthy of record.

As in Barron and Low’s previous collaboration, The Day the Stones Walked (2007), tightly connected visuals and text provoke curiosity and awe about a phenomenon at once mysterious and accessible. (author’s note) (Picture book. 4-8)

 

Pub Date: July 1st, 2011
ISBN: 978-0-399-25083-5
Page count: 40pp
Publisher: Philomel
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15th, 2011




MORE BY T.A. BARRON

ChildrenATLANTIS RISING by T.A. Barron
by T.A. Barron
ChildrenMERLIN’S DRAGON by T.A. Barron
by T.A. Barron
ChildrenTHE DAY THE STONES WALKED by T.A. Barron
by T.A. Barron

MORE BY WILLIAM LOW

ChildrenME AND MOMMA AND BIG JOHN by Mara Rockliff
by Mara Rockliff
ChildrenMACHINES GO TO WORK IN THE CITY by William Low
by William Low
ChildrenMACHINES GO TO WORK by William Low
by William Low

SIMILAR BOOKS SUGGESTED BY OUR CRITICS:

ChildrenDREAMPLACE by George Ella Lyon
by George Ella Lyon
ChildrenTHE SECRET CAVE by Emily Arnold McCully
by Emily Arnold McCully
ChildrenOH NO! NOT AGAIN! by Mac Barnett
by Mac Barnett