Pegasus, the Flying Horse

Jane Yolen, Author, Li Ming, Illustrator Dutton Books $16.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-525-65244-1
Yolen and Ming (previously paired for Merlin and the Dragons) mine Greek myth to retell the story of Bellerophon, the boy who tames a flying horse. Yolen recounts the tale through the voice of a beggar--who, as it transpires in the end, may or may not himself be Bellerophon. Although the telling is not as stately as in Marianna Mayer's and Kinuko Y. Craft's recent Pegasus, the prose is fluid and smooth, and the author deftly wrings the drama from the tale, from the boy's encounter with the goddess Athena and his battle with the hideous Chimaera to his tragic fall from glory. Ming capitalizes on the story's dramatic moments as well, and his oil paintings have a larger-than-life quality. There's a dreamy quality to his artwork--figures and objects blur slightly at the edges, bleeding into shadow and clouds--and the sense of elusiveness is sustained by a palette that shifts from the dark and fiery colors for Bellerophon's battle with the monster to the soft pastels of the skies for the airborne rides of boy and horse. A solid collaboration. Ages 7-up. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 09/28/1998
Release date: 10/01/1998
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