From Publishers Weekly
A 13th-century prince overcomes physical infirmities and exile to rule Mali; of the artist's "stunning" cut-paper collages, PW said, "Historically accurate images are sharp without starkness, expressive of raw power and delicate fragility by turns." Ages 5-9.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From School Library Journal
Grade 2-4-- An appealing biography of Sundiata, credited as the founder of the Mali empire. A lengthy author's note informs readers as to how little firsthand information on the topic is available, and that what is known has been handed down orally by griots , or African storytellers. Therefore, the narrative has the distinctive, if somewhat mystical, flow of an oral history. Sundiata neither walks nor speaks for the first seven years of his life, but is still named heir over his older brother. Regardless of the pronouncement, following the king's death, Sundiata and his mother are forced into exile. How the Lion King of Mali defeats his enemies and becomes the rightful ruler makes for an exciting tale. Wisniewski's characteristic artwork (vivid colored paper designs that have been intricately cut, arranged, mounted, and then photographed) add to the drama of the tale and are consistent with the folkloric tone. The characters have personality and vitality, and the setting has a texture and richness that heightens climactic moments of the story. Neither straightforward biography nor folktale, this is an interesting combination of the two. While some younger listeners may have difficulty following the somewhat choppy nature of the narrative as years fly by between the major events, older children will appreciate both the flavor and intrigue. All in all, another fine effort from a talented author/illustrator. --Linda Greengrass, Bank Street College Library, NY
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.