In this mystical adventure, follow Kenji on an intriguing journey that leads to a mysterious mountain, an eerie, abanonded temple, and the threat of the terrible Goblin Rat. Clement's beautifully executed paintings add a rich drama to the story. Full color.
From Publishers Weekly
A Japanese legend celebrating the
importance of art and spirit receives worthy treatment in this stunning volume.
Too frail to work the family farm, young Kenji is sent to a monastery to train
as an acolyte, but he can't resist his passion for painting. Expelled, he must
find his own way in a forbidding world where, one terrifying night, his very
real cat paintings rescue him from the Goblin Rat. Levine's precise and
evocative language packs graceful surprises ("His steps crumbled ash-white
leaves at the threshold") and is ably complemented by Clement's delicate,
haunting watercolors. A sense of veiled mystery, of the surreal, permeates his
art, as if it has been painted in layers of meaning for the reader to interpret.
Pastel colors have a gossamer quality; as Kenji follows winding paths through
mists and blowing leaves, he seems to enter a dreamscape. The effect is both
beautiful and unnerving. Children will love the cats who hover everywhere,
finely etched, eyes gleaming. The book's exquisite design includes decorative
borders, a parchment look and a Japanese character, explained in a glossary,
heading each page. Ages 5-up.