Friday, May 18, 2007

Diana the Huntress

Diana the Huntress

I first met Diana at the Louvre a few years ago. The statue is breathtaking in person. Diana was the goddess of the hunt in Roman mythology. Many masterpieces, in art and poetry, have been inspired by this figure representing strength, beauty, athletic grace, and hunting skill.

Once again, I was reading one of my favorite picture books, Isabelle and the Angel, to Levi. A blurred image of the Diana the Huntress statue gazed up at me. In the book, Isabelle the pig is a little afraid of the statue. It makes her feel small.

Isabelle and the Angel is a beautiful book with strong, rich colors. Isabelle loves to make pretty paintings with pink cake and strawberry jam. She also loves to visit 'the Museum' where she sits in a red velvet chair. The Louvre is not mentioned by name, but the telltale glass pyramid is situated in front of the museum, and the Mona Lisa hangs upon a wall.

From the editorial reviews at

Originally published in France as Solange et l'ange, this is a simple story of the power of beauty and the transformative quality of love. But Thierry Magnier puts his finger on a range of subtle emotions that sometimes flit through our hearts too fast for us to hold on to: Feeling small when a breathtaking statue looms large and lovely, for example. Or feeling inexplicably blue because you like someone so much it's overwhelming. Georg Hallensleben's gorgeous paintings reflect, interact with, and enhance the story's quiet strength and childlike perspectives. We've seen his stunning artwork before in And If the Moon Could Talk, and, like Isabelle, wecould gaze at it for hours on end. This wonderful book has heart and soul, truth and beauty. It belongs on the special shelf. (Preschool to age 6) --Karin Snelson

I heartily agree. It belongs on the special shelf.

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