Quennu and the Cave Bear
Quennu is afraid of only one thing in her prehistoric world -- cave bears. When she is separated from her family and clan on a journey to the magical caverns where art is made, she must find her way alone. In the dark passages of the cave, the young girl’s imagination takes over. In order to reunite with the rest of her clan, Quennu is faced with only one option -- she must face her fear. In this provocative and imaginative story, Marie Day takes young readers on a magical journey through time. As one of prehistory’s first artists, the character of Quennu embodies a subtle exploration of art, reality, and magic. Brave and thoughtful, she is the perfect young heroine.
Children will identify with Quennu as her imagination runs wild and she tries to overcome her fear. Though obviously a work of fiction, but based on fact, this story not only serves to teach youngsters about life in prehistoric times, but it also suggests that, in many ways, children today are not much different from children long ago. Day captures the feeling of the time and the physical setting. Her writing style is quiet and soothing as she tells Quennu`s story. The use of simple vocabulary also matches the mood, time and place. .. Rendered in a combination of watercolours and printmaking techniques, the illustrations are inspired by the prehistoric art found in the Caves of Lascaux, in France. In many cases, they look as if they are drawn with charcoal sticks, then filled in with colour. Primitive and full of life, they suit the text and the mood perfectly. Recommended.- Gail Hamilton