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Master Elk and the Mountain Lion

Master Elk and the Mountain Lion

by Jonathan London, Wayne McLoughlin (Illustrator)

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This wilderness tale begins and ends with a mountain lion stalking a herd of elk. Through his mother's protection, a baby elk survives the mountain lion's first attack. Years later, after he has grown into the dominant bull, Master Elk recognizes the lion's sudden scent, warns his herd and delivers them to a marshy refuge. The precise, tactile poetry that characterizes London's best work (The Eyes of Gray Wolf; Condor's Egg) loses some force here, partly because McLoughlin's illustrations, dominating each spread, sap rather than empower the story. Disregarding dramatic cues in the text, the artist favors simplified compositions that convey no sense of the varying landscapes (from tule marsh to sheer cliffs) nor of the potential violence and danger. Still, as a realistic narrative featuring endangered and wild species, this volume may merit attention from eco-minded parents. Ages 4-8. (Nov.)
Children's Literature - Debby Buchanan
Follow a young bull elk from birth to earning and defending a herd of his own in this superbly illustrated look at the life of a Tule Elk. Ever present in the background is mountain lion, hoping for a good dinner. London and McLoughlin do more than capture the beauty of the wilderness in this story. They offer an accurate account of this once almost extinct species of California elk. On one page, with artwork gorgeous enough to frame, "Mountain Lion's eyes shine like emeralds in the moon glow." Recommend for anyone who wishes to offer children a realistic look at the life of a wild elk, or just a lovely story about life in the wild.
School Library Journal
K-Gr 2Handsome illustrations enrich a simple story that records the life of a tule elk from his birth to his succession as master bull. A shadowy mountain lion stalks the elk herd during the calf's first hours of life, and is still there hunting eight years later, though the now-powerful bull escapes the predator's leap after making sure his herd has fled to safety. This book is aimed at the same general audience as the author's The Eyes of Gray Wolf (Chronicle, 1993). London's serene style here is complemented by McLoughlin's soft-edged, yet sometimes dramatic paintings. An attractive package that gives children a less Bambi-ed view of the wild.Patricia Manning, Eastchester Public Library, NY
Janice Del Negro
The life cycle of the tule elk is effectively narrated and evocatively described in this fictionalized nature book. A young elk grows into a bull, defeats the master to become master himself, and defends his herd against its old enemy, Mountain Lion. McLoughlin paints his subjects with powerful haunches and liquid eyes. In fact, the physical presence of the animals is so well realized that it lends complexity to the bare surrounding landscape. London supplies a brief note about the elk, an endangered species that currently numbers about 3,000 in various parts of central and coastal California.

Product Details

Random House Children's Books
Publication date:
Edition description:
1st ed
Product dimensions:
9.56(w) x 10.72(h) x 0.37(d)
Age Range:
5 - 8 Years

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