professornana (professornana) wrote,

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lyrical words and paintings

THE MASTERWORK OF A PAINTING ELEPHANT by Michelle Cuevas with pictures by Ed Young (FSG 2011) can be deceptive at first glance. It appears to be a slim, small book for young readers. However, open the book and read Chapter One, and it is readily apparent that the intended audience is a tad older and more rich in literary experience. For what follows is a lyrical allegory about family, about friends, about art, about love, and more. Birch, a white elephant, works in a car wash doomed to a life of spraying water to rinse the cars as they pass along. What he wants to do is to paint, to create art. He also secretly longs to reconnect with the graceful acrobat who once danced on his back. Into his life comes Pigeon, a young boy whose parent abandon him at an orphanage. Pigeon, though, crawls away. Somehow Pigeon and Birch connect. Now Pigeon lives on Birch's back. The two are inseparable, the bond that connects them as strong as Birch's trunk and Pigeon's belief that one day he will find his parents. To tell more would deprive you of the rare reading experience in store for you. This book begs to be read aloud (and even studied, though please not so deeply that it loses its charm for the reader). Tie this one to THE MAGICIAN'S ELEPHANT, THE DREAMER, PETER NIMBLE AND HIS FANTASTIC EYES, THE GIRL WHO CIRCUMNAVIGATED FAIRYLAND IN A SHIP OF HER OWN MAKING, and so many more titles that connect the heart of this story. <524>
Tags: allegory
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