NIGHT OF THE WHITE DEER. By Jack Bushnell. Illustrated by Miguel Co. For ages 4-8
Are legends real? Some may be. Told as a modern folktale, “Night of the White Deer” finds a young boy dreaming about the legend of the white deer.
Some folks say she is a star that fell to Earth. Others proclaim she is spilled milk that has risen out of the Earth to form the deer.
The boy thinks they are all just fun stories until the night he sees the deer on the farm. When he walks into the field to see the deer, he is taken on a magical journey. They fly through the skies and into the aurora, where he sees other varieties of deer running and jumping.
The next morning, the boy tells his family about the journey. When he and his father are alone, his father reveals that he, too, had a magical journey with the deer long ago.
Most folktales tell of a quest or offer a moral. The only lesson to be gleaned from this tale is that the world is full of magic, if we only believe.
Miguel Co does a wonderful job with the bright and inviting illustrations, adding a mystical touch to the story.
Whether this is enough to turn “Night of the White Deer” into a hit is unclear. Although it is a pleasant diversion, the tale falls a little short.
McGeath Freeman is a columnist for Lowcountry Parent. Send email to editor@lowcountry parent.com.