THE LEGEND OF JOHN HENRY by Terry -- Adapt. & Illus. Small

THE LEGEND OF JOHN HENRY

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Once again, Man measures himself against Machine, with results both tragic and triumphant. Small (The Legend of William Tell, 1991), tells the tale in rhymed quatrains that evoke, without mirroring, the rhythmns of the traditional ballad. In Small's illustrations, John Henry cuts a muscular, suitably heroic figure, gesturing emphatically against a series of camp scenes and Virginia landscapes painted in shades of russet and gold. The language is sometimes forced (""He growed up big and look so strong,/But sad is all he feel,/And he never smile till he hear the sound/of a hammer strikin' steel""), but the legend's epic quality is preserved. A rendition with the power, if not the distinctive style, of Ezra Jack Keats's John Henry (1965).

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 1994
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Doubleday