The Goatherd and the Shepherdess
is the retelling of a Greek legend that begins with the birth and discovery of a baby girl found abandoned in a cave, then adopted by loving parents who name her Cloe. The story progresses through her friendship with a goatherd boy named Daphnis, also an orphan foundling. The girl, now a shepherdess, is nearly inseparable from her friend the goatherd. As the seasons change and the countryside blossoms, so does their friendship grow into a lifelong love. The lush greens and blues in the paintings evoke a magical, mystical island. Excitement comes in the way of vicious pirates wreaking havoc on the community of herdspeople, and a young cowherd (also vying for the attention of Cloe) who gives his life for the sake of his friends' survival.
From Publishers Weekly
Hort (How Many Stars in the Sky?) transforms and condenses a sexy pastoral romance from third-century Greece into a tragic but ultimately uplifting story of a love triangle-a decidedly odd metamorphosis. Daphnis and Chloe, both foundlings rescued by herders, grow up together, "so it was natural that [they] became the best of friends." But the cowherd Dorcon becomes Daphnis's rival, and the two "grew as frisky and quarrelsome as a couple of billy goats over their favorite shepherdess." Dorcon conveniently leaves the scene by dying nobly: mortally wounded by pirates who have abducted Daphnis, he tells Chloe how to save her lover. This version does away with the original's keen interest in the gradual development of sexual interest and love between Daphnis and Chloe, but doesn't add much to compensate (no notes comment on source or approach, but the story is usually attributed to the poet Longus). There's also a swipe of sorts at the end, at adopted children who search for their natural parents. Bloom (Yonder) paints suitably pastoral landscapes-green grass, gray rocks and impossibly blue sky-in a classical manner. Similarly antique figures pose to dramatic effect, but the end result, highly stylized, may appeal more to adults than to children. Ages 4-8.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.