Quennu and the Cave Bear: A Prehistoric Tale

Quennu and the Cave Bear: A Prehistoric Tale

by Sarah E. De Capua, Marie Day
     
 

"Suddenly a chilly gust of air carried away the scent of meat and smoke Quennu was following, and blew in another. Her nose wrinkled at the rank, heavy smell. She froze. A 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

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Overview

"Suddenly a chilly gust of air carried away the scent of meat and smoke Quennu was following, and blew in another. Her nose wrinkled at the rank, heavy smell. She froze. A 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. Is there a bear following her? In order to reunite with the rest of her clan, Quennu is faced with only one option—she must face her fear. As she continues deeper into the cave, she is rewarded by the sounds of her clan's celebrations. Quennu's reunion with her family is triumphant. She has challenged her fear and won. The young girl then records her experience by painting a huge bear on the cave wall.

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. At the same time brave and thoughtful, she is the perfect young heroine. Children will identify with her fears of the unknown, while marveling at the combination of the strange, mysterious, and oddly familiar aspects of Quennu's family life.

About the Author:

Marie Day was a theatrical scenery and costume designer for many years. Her first book, Dragon in the Rocks, was selected as a White Raven Book by the UNESCO International Youth Library.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Kathleen Karr
Quennu is greatly impressed by the Shaman's gory tales of the great cave bear. When her clan treks to a distant cave to perform rituals, she won't go without her bear tooth charm, and in losing the charm she also loses her family within the cave. A great cave bear menaces her-or is it only her imagination? Reunited with her people, Quennu celebrates her adventure by painting a wonderfully ferocious bear on the cave wall. Canadian Day's story and her bright, impressionistic illustrations vividly conjure up the world of prehistoric peoples for today's youngsters.
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
K-Gr 3-A Neolithic child follows her clan deep into an underground cave. Separated from the others, Quennu worries that she will meet a cave bear. As she walks along, her nose wrinkles at a "rank, heavy smell" and she senses the animal's presence. However, with the help of a charm the Shaman had given her, she is able to calm her fears and subsequently finds her people performing ceremonies and painting animals on the walls of a subterranean cavern. She adds her bear to the drawings, and later, after she leaves the cave, she happily remembers the painting hidden away underground. A great deal of accurate information about cave art is contained in this crisply phrased narrative and an afterword expands upon these themes. The story is enhanced by the fresh, kinetic artwork. Bursting with life and vitality, the mixed-media illustrations bring a vivid immediacy to Quennu and her world. Use this engaging tale to introduce and/or extend such nonfiction works as Patricia Lauber's Painters of the Caves (National Geographic, 1998).-Ann Welton, Terminal Park Elementary School, Auburn, WA Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Day uses the prehistoric tale of a young girl coming to terms with her fear of bears to explore the world of cave art. Quennu might be able to handle woolly mammoths and sabre-toothed tigers, but cave bears give her the willies. Her clan's shaman gives her a bear tooth as a talisman to conquer her fear. On the day when the shaman summons all the people to the cave for an ecstatic painting ceremony, Quennu enters the cave after the others have gone on ahead. At one point she is sure she sees the fiery eyes of an enormous cave bear, yet she carries on, the tooth giving her strength. When she finds her clan in the shadowscape of a great chamber, they are singing and dancing and chanting and applying brushes to the cave walls. Quennu joins in, painting the bear, and putting to rest her fears of the creature, but not her respect for it. Day delivers charged, swirling color and smoky imagery in her illustrations, plus the frisson of transportive mystery that may turn children into future history majors. An explanatory page at the end puts the action into context. (Picture book. 7-11)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780613266864
Publisher:
San Val
Publication date:
03/28/1999
Product dimensions:
8.52(w) x 11.04(h) x 0.38(d)
Age Range:
5 - 10 Years

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