The Peaceable Kingdom: Story by Ewa Zadrzynska ; Illustrations by Tomek Olbinski ; Painting from the Brooklyn Museum

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9780963890405: The Peaceable Kingdom: Story by Ewa Zadrzynska ; Illustrations by Tomek Olbinski ; Painting from the Brooklyn Museum

When three wild animals appear in front of Brooklyn's Botanical Garden, Susan and her little brother, Brian, know the answers to their presence lie in Edward Hicks's famous painting, The Peaceable Kingdom, and its message of kindness.

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From Kirkus Reviews:

A curious, rather long fable about three animals (a lion, a leopard, and a wolf) who come out of Edward Hicks's painting of The Peaceable Kingdom in the Brooklyn Museum and cause a stir in the nearby botanical garden. While the animals huddle together, wide-eyed, a seven-year-old observes that ``They're beautiful and they're scared....We have to help them,'' but adults are terrified and the police prepare to shoot. The mayor, the press, and famous professors get into the debate about what to do; no one knows what to make of these creatures, which are evidently not predatory. Finally, after a little boy who has seen the animals in the museum recognizes them, the children from the painting are fetched to take the animals back into it. The truants are ready, but sad; they had thought that surely by now the world, too, would be peaceable. Not yet--but everyone is moved by their tears. An intriguing entr‚e into both the Quaker painter's art and its subject. Olbinski's spare, classically constructed settings harmonize nicely with his renderings of Hicks's figures. Reproduction of the painting and list of Hicks's 18 other variations on it; note. (Picture book. 5-11) -- Copyright ©1994, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

From Publishers Weekly:

Brooklyn's Botanic Garden is astir when Brian and his sister Susan discover a strangely gentle trio of lion, leopard and wolf. A crew of incompetent grown-ups--pompous professors, zombie-like journalists, a sincere but obtuse mayor--finally allows the kids to use their knowledge of art to solve the riddle. The animals, it emerges, have stepped out of a canvas in the Brooklyn Museum, hoping to find the outside world approaching the messianic calm of Edward Hicks's Peaceable Kingdom. Loosely based on Hicks's primitive style, Olbinski's striking illustrations are mysterious and sometimes ominous, and don't entirely suit Zadrzynska's ( The Girl with a Watering Can ) urbane, satiric text. The Hicks painting itself becomes an afterthought, a vehicle for the author's lament, implied in an afterword, that Isaiah's prophecy is so far from being realized. Although it may get some children to the museum--locations of the various versions of Hicks's painting are given--this book is ultimately unsatisfying in its reduction of art to a philosophical device. Ages 5-12.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Ewa Zadrzynska; Ewa Zadrynska
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