First Painter

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9780789425782: First Painter
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Following the death of her mother, Mishoo the new shaman, must find a way to help her preshistoric tribe during a drought, so she enters the cave of the she-tiger and begins drawing her dreams on the cave wall.

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About the Author:

Kathryn Lasky, a Newbery Honor author, is known for her nonfiction and fiction for all ages. Among her many other honors, she has won the Washington Post Children's Book Guild Award for her contribution to children's nonfiction literature. She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Rocco Baviera's paintings for his first picture book, A Boy Called Slow, were praised as "atmospheric, dramatic...they possess an almost mythic quality" in The Horn Book. He lives in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.

From School Library Journal:

Grade 2-5-After her mother's death, young Mishoo becomes her prehistoric tribe's Dream Catcher. The clan is suffering terribly from the lack of rain; the crops have failed, and the people are starving. The child dreams that she must go to the cave of the she-tiger. Although terrified, Mishoo is motivated by the sight of her young sister, who will perish if some relief is not found soon. She takes the spirit bundle she inherited from her mother and finds the cave, where she traces the fossils of animals with a charred stick from the fire. Accidentally, she spreads ocher on the drawing of a horse and it seems to come alive. She paints bison and rhinoceroses and even the she-tiger. When she leaves after three days, it is raining. The text is so beautifully written and Baviera's drawings so evocative that readers will be holding their breath by the end. Lasky provides details of the archaeological findings that provide the basis for this story. In addition, she has developed a rather extensive bibliography for those who would like to learn more about the history of cave painting. This is a very special book that could be read aloud with dramatic flourish or enjoyed by older children for its mysterious, almost spooky feel.
Barbara Buckley, Rockville Centre Public Library, NY
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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