SUHO AND THE WHITE HORSE: A Legend of Mongolia by Yuzo--Adapt. Otsuka

SUHO AND THE WHITE HORSE: A Legend of Mongolia

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Originally published in 1970 with a different translation, this handsome volume is now reissued in recognition of artist Suekichi Akaba's receipt of the 1980 Hans Christian Andersen Award. The story traces the origin of the Mongolian horse-head fiddle to ""a poor shepherd boy named Suho,"" who raises a beautiful white colt only to be robbed of the horse (and his prize in a horse race) by a scoundrelly governor. But when the governor tries to ride the horse, it throws him and, though wounded, races home--shortly expiring in Suho's arms. Then the horse appears to Suho in a dream, and tells him to make an instrument ""from my bones, hide, and sinews."" And ""in time its music could be heard in almost every part of the grasslands of Mongolia."" It's an attenuated tale, with broadly generalized illustrations too--suitably panoramic and empty, subtly and evocatively colored, but characteristic rather than particularized. What little detail appears is almost hieroglyphic as well. So, while librarians might want the book for the artist's eminence, and some children might be taken with the pictures, independent of the story, as a pictorial projection of something that's tenuous and remote to begin with, its chances seem slim.

Pub Date: May 11th, 1981
Publisher: Viking