Lord of the Animals
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This issue's cover is a photograph of Anne Frank whose diary is discussed by Michael Rosen fifty years after its first publication. Following the arrest of the Frank family and their companions, the secret annex in Amsterdam where they had been in hiding was locked up and everybody forbidden to enter it, since Jewish possessions became Nazi property and were carted away. Before this happened, the young woman, Miep Gies, who had provided those in hiding with food and who had a second key to the annex, risked herself once more by entering it. Miep retrieved Anne's diary from the devastation together with the Frank family photograph album.
Thanks to Penguin Children's Books for help in reproducing this cover.
Despite the popularity of French's picture book, Anancy and Mr Dry-Bone, it was with some trepidation that we approached this new title, a retelling of the Miwok Native Americans' creation myth, for stories which are so strongly anchored in the culture of story telling project their own images and patterns. However, French has had the vision and the skill to produce a book which complements a wonderful myth rather than diluting it. The story has a strong and immediate message: animals created people and, rather than being their slaves, people's power over animals rests on their desire to serve a 'good master'. French bases her artwork on the stylised illustration on ancient pottery from the Mimbres Valley and these images have a vibrancy of their own. Other than for the very young child who will need the support of a sensitive adult to talk through the concepts, such is the power of message and image in this title that there can be no real application of age 'appropriateness' - this is a book that will enrich all who share it.