Animal Land: An Allegorical Fable (Paperback)
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"Animal Land" is an allegorical fable of World War II, a la George Orwell's "Animal Farm." The story, written in unique, highly accessible, shape poetry by award-winning poet Leland James, recounts in dramatic action the events of World War II from Chamberlain's appeasement of Nazi Germany to the overoptimistic predictions of eternal peace after the defeat and surrender of Germany and its allies. You will notice animals of fitting character represent historical figures and their personalities. Like "Animal Farm," the story operates on two levels, one level a story that a nine year-old can easily relate to, the second level suited to adult readers. Smiles of recognition and frowns at errors in judgment come rapid fire to the adult reader, while children alternately laugh and become thoughtful as the basic story unfolds. The moral of this fable is timeless and of particular relevance in light of current international events the lessons of World War II being essential to any understanding of the conflicts and potential destructive hegemonies present in each day's news. "Animal Land" entertains and informs in the tradition of the dual relevance of all authentic allegory, being both historically and currently relevant. The book is full of beautiful illustrations by Anne Zimanski, a well-established artist of exceptional talent. The illustrations, like the story itself, avoid the typical children's book fare, striking a rare balance of whimsy without cuteness, such as that achieved by E.H. Shepard in "Wind in the Willows.