Animal Land: An Allegorical Fableby Leland James, Anne Zimanski (Illustrator)
"Animal Land" is an allegorical fable of World War II, à la George Orwell's "Animal Farm." The story, written in unique, highly accessible, shape poetry by award-winning poet Leland James, recounts in dramatic action the events of World War II from Chamberlain's appeasement of Nazi Germany to the overoptimistic predictions of eternal peace after the defeat and surrender of Germany and its allies. You will notice animals of fitting character represent historical figures and their personalities. Like "Animal Farm," the story operates on two levels, one level a story that a nine year-old can easily relate to, the second level suited to adult readers. Smiles of recognition and frowns at errors in judgment come rapid fire to the adult reader, while children alternately laugh and become thoughtful as the basic story unfolds. The moral of this fable is timeless and of particular relevance in light of current international events — the lessons of World War II being essential to any understanding of the conflicts and potential destructive hegemonies present in each day's news. "Animal Land" entertains and informs in the tradition of the dual relevance of all authentic allegory, being both historically and currently relevant. The book is full of beautiful illustrations by Anne Zimanski, a well-established artist of exceptional talent. The illustrations, like the story itself, avoid the typical children's book fare, striking a rare balance of whimsy without cuteness, such as that achieved by E.H. Shepard in "Wind in the Willows."
- Little Red Tree Publishing
- Publication date:
- Product dimensions:
- 7.00(w) x 10.00(h) x 0.30(d)
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Reviewed by Samantha Gregory for Readers' Favorite Animal Land: An Allegorical Fable by Leland James is the story of all the animals who live peacefully, but the peace is threatened when crocodile like creatures attack along with other strange creatures. The citizens of Animal Land think that if they stay out of it, then they will be left alone. Different areas are defeated around them, but the mayor makes an agreement with the invaders that if they stay out of their way, they won't be attacked. Other animals disagree and it soon becomes clear that they have no intention of leaving their land alone. So begins a long war that lasts for six years. Each side fights long and hard in order to be the victor. Even after their long battle is over the animals are divided into two camps. Those that live in denial and quickly forget about the war, naively believing that it will never happen again and the other side who relish the peace but always keep a watchful eye out in case it should happen again. Leland James offers an interesting tale with Animal Land: An Allegorical Fable. In order to maintain peace you have to be prepared to go to war and fight for what is yours. A sad fact of life. Illustrator Anne Zimanski brings the story to life with her pictures and the book is easy to read and follow. I feel this will do well and it is suitable for most ages. There is a strong message here.
Great book for everyone!
Highly enjoyable, the whole family from our youngest at 5 and oldest at 10 really got into the story. Illustrations are great too.