The Cave Painter of Lascaux

The Cave Painter of Lascaux

by Roberta Angeletti
     
 

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Cecilia is on a school trip to the Lascaux caves in southern France--a mysterious place with well-preserved prehistoric paintings on the walls. These are believed to have been created by our primitive ancestors several hundred thousand years ago. The little girl notices some strange footprints on the ground. Following them, she walks away from the other children… See more details below

Overview


Cecilia is on a school trip to the Lascaux caves in southern France--a mysterious place with well-preserved prehistoric paintings on the walls. These are believed to have been created by our primitive ancestors several hundred thousand years ago. The little girl notices some strange footprints on the ground. Following them, she walks away from the other children and arrives in a dark, wide hall. She is about to turn on her flashlight, when suddenly ... Flash! Her camera flash goes off and lights up the paintings of deer and hunters on the walls. The flash goes off again and she sees more animals chiseled in the walls.
In the dark, she feels someone trying to pull the camera off her neck. Frightened, she turns around and sees a primitive man. He gestures to her that he is the painter of the walls. Leading her out of the cave, he tries to start a fire by striking two sticks against each other. Cecilia has to get back, because her school bus is leaving, but she leaves the primitive man a box of matches as a farewell gift. Three pages at the end of the story explain how prehistoric people lived, what tools they used, how they painted, and how they hunted.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Joyce Rice
Anna's class is going on a field trip to visit the great caves of Lascaux, in France. While the other children listen to the teacher explanations about the drawings on the cave walls, Anna wanders off. When the flash on her camera accidentally goes off, Anna is finally able to see the drawings on the wall. She is also able to see something else that will make her field trip unforgettable. This is an excellent use of the picture book format to entice young readers into information books. The story told in limited text with beautiful, rich illustrations makes this story appropriate for reading to a group. The author has included further information about cave painters at the end of the story. Part of the series "A Journey Through Time."
Children's Literature
A young girl's light-hearted account of her class trip to the famous Lascaux caves in southern France is the fictional frame for an introduction to both the caves and to life in the Stone Age. On her own, Anna follows footprints into a cave, admiring the spectacular art her flash camera reveals. She is shocked by what appears to be a "caveman," but he is only a costumed guard. He, in turn, is astonished when they encounter someone claiming to be one of the artists of the cave walls who tells them about his time and art. Anna returns to her school bus wiser, wishing she had a photo to prove her adventure. Double-page mixed media scenes display thoughtful reproductions of many of the animal pictures, while Angeletti produces cartoon-y humans to explain them. We can feel a bit of the cave experience, but at the expense of stripping much of the significance from it. The final pages with fuller explication of the art and times help restore some of that importance. The fact that "visitors are not allowed to enter the real caves" now, but only the replica, makes the story itself even further from reality. This is part of the "A Journey Through Time" series. 2004, Crystal Productions, Ages 5 to 9.
—Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
Gr 1-3-This series entry repeats the flaws and strengths of its predecessors. The story is slight and secondary to the purpose-in this case, introducing readers to Paleolithic cave paintings in France. A child wanders away from her classmates and meets up with a tour guide dressed as a cave man. He is as surprised as she is when an actual Homo sapiens appears and corrects some of the guide's points. The information presented in the narrative is minimal-this field trip is no "Magic School Bus" ride. The cave art, however, is a respectable imitation of the real thing, and the cartoon characters and perspectives are dynamic. The factual material, which describes the possible intent of the art and how it was created, is based on current theory. The book would work well one-on-one or with a group as a lead-in to the photographs and content of Dorothy Hinshaw Patent's well-documented Mystery of the Lascaux Cave (Benchmark, 1998).-Wendy Lukehart, Dauphin County Library, Harrisburg, PA Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.|
From the Publisher

"The cave art ... is a respectable imitation of the real thing, and the cartoon characters and perspectives are dynamic. The factual material, which describes the possible intent of the art and how it was created, is based on current theory. The book would work well one-on-one or with a group."--School Library Journal

"These delightful characters tell readers about the people who painted the animals and what the paintings meant to them, helping to bring the Stone Age to life."--Baton Rouge Advocate

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781562903237
Publisher:
Crystal Productions
Publication date:
03/01/2004
Pages:
32

Meet the Author

Roberta Angeletti lives and works in Italy. She is a well-known illustrator, sculptor, and engraver, and has recently achieved popularity as a children's writer. She has won numerous prestigious prizes for her illustrations.

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