Alexis Deacon holds a first class honours degree in Illustration from the University of Brighton. Slow Loris is his first children s book.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
K Up-By day, a slow loris (an animal native to southern Asia) leads a quiet, some would say completely boring, existence in a zoo. At night, however, he comes to life and amazes the other animals with his energy and zest for fun. This slight story is primarily a vehicle for its strong graphic illustrations. The fact that a nocturnal animal would be more active at night than in the daytime does not seem startling or amazing, so the other animals' surprise at discovering Slow Loris's "secret" seems a bit far-fetched. The story veers into fantasy when the other zoo creatures join his party, donning "cool cat" hats and ties and striking jazz-musician poses. The dark tones of the paintings, many with thick black outlines, add to the atmosphere of mystery and secrecy. The layout is unusual and visually arresting. The illustrative point of view changes abruptly, one page folds out, another has a flap to lift. However, the dramatic illustrations create more interest in terms of design than in appeal to children. Teenagers might relate to this book-they may see themselves in Loris's love of nightlife and daytime sleeping as well as his sense of feeling misunderstood. While the reversal of preconceptions could inspire a writing exercise about judging others, this book may have a difficult time finding an audience.
Lucinda Snyder Whitehurst, St. Christopher's School, Richmond, VA
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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