________________ CM . . . . Volume V Number 4 . . . . October 16, 1998

cover Beyond the Rainbow Warrior.

Edited by Michael Morpurgo. Illustrated by Michael Foreman.
London, UK: Pavilion Books (Distributed in Canada by Raincoast Books), 1996.
144 pp., paper, $19.95.
ISBN 1-86205-035-X.

Subject Headings:
Children's stories.
Short stories.

Grades 4 and up / Ages 9 and up.
Review by Mary Thomas.

**** /4

image Michael Morpurgo, who commissioned these stories, subtitled "A Collection of Stories to Celebrate 25 years of Greenpeace," requested them from an international group of authors and illustrators, almost all of whom are household words in the world of children's literature. Somewhat surprisingly, given that Greenpeace was established in the United States, there are no American authors represented here, and Tim Wynne-Jones is the sole Canadian. I did not, however, get the impression that this was a political statement - it just happened.

      The stories, themselves, are extremely varied, beginning with a light-hearted suggestion of how the organization got its name, and finishing with the legend of the Rainbow Warrior, the name given to Greenpeace's ship on which so many protest missions have been carried out. The first story is a pseudo-Arthurian tale ("Dragon Soup" by Anthony Horowitz, illustrated by Quentin Blake), the main point of which, other than a few sideswipes at polluting "city folks" and those who feel they must kill what they don't understand, is its shaggy-dog-like punch line. Between these bookends of reference to Greenpeace and its ship, there is a dark tale ("Long Wing" by Elizabeth Laird, illustrated by Alan Lee), the life story of an albatross whose mate is drowned as she takes a hook carelessly baited with semi-frozen and, therefore, buoyant fish; an apocalyptic story of the end of civilization ("Singer from the Desert Came" by Jamila Gavin, illustrated by Peter Sis); another of a young girl's determination to stop people dumping polluted sludge into a stream near her home ("In a House Built Out of Dragonfly Wings" by Tim Wynne-Jones, illustrated by P.J. Lynch), and a dream-like account of burned-over land in Australia crying for salvation and rebirth ("Shock Forest" by Margaret Mahy, with pictures by Robert Ingpen).

      Beyond the Rainbow Warrior is a collection of good stories, well told, with a wide variety of settings and points of view, and, although the basic message comes through very clearly - that careless selfishness will destroy our world - the stories are *stories*, not sermons. Greenpeace has developed a powerful voice; this collection will spread its influence among the young.

Highly recommended.

Mary Thomas, who has worked for nine years in libraries in the Winnipeg School Division No. 1, is now on leave in Oxford with her husband for a year.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364