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The Boy Who Was Fire
Marcus Kahle McCann, illus. by Zita Varga. Pockets of... Publishing, $14.95 (28p) ISBN 978-1-7331043-0-2
In this anthropomorphic tale, a fire born to a “bright bolt of lightning and a tall, beautiful tree” must find his way in the world. After becoming too restless to stay in the green arms of his mother, a boy made of flame blazes his way through the wilderness, consuming “everything, anything that got in his way.” When the forests, cities, and towns catch wind of the destruction, they fear the child, who hides until he grows up, petitioning a teetering, lonely house with a feminine face to let him burn in her hearth. Though the prose occasionally feels formal (“And in time, the cities and towns incorporated the house that was no longer lonely”), the narrative is compelling, particularly as it touches upon how fire can spur habitat renewal. Graphic novel–style digital illustrations by Varga evoke a deeper mythology, resulting in a story that may encourage young readers to consider unintended mishaps as opportunities for growth. Ages 5–9. (Self-published)

Reviewed by Publishers Weekly on 01/24/2020

Release date 06/01/2019

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