by Justin Denzel
Set in the stone age, The Boy of the Painted Cave is about a young orphan boy named Tao who was born with a club foot. His greatest desire is to become an artist, and paint in the Sacred Cave. But the tribe will never choose him for this honor because of his unknown parentage and crippled foot. Finding himself more or less an outcast, Tao starts roaming the wilds around his home and through observation discovers that some things his tribe has taught the people to fear are falsehoods. He also befriends a wild dog, a creature the tribe fears and loathes. Eventually Tao convinces a shaman to teach him the painter\’s skill in secret, and then tries to find a way back into his tribe; not just as an accepted member, but as one who can bring them advantages (the dog) and honor (his art). Not too in-depth (written for ages 8-12) but a well-written imaginative story that kept me curious to see what would happen next.
Rating: 3/5 160 pages, 1988
I wonder if my daughter might like this. She's right in that age range, loves art and dogs. I'll have to see if our library has it.
Sounds like a perfect fit. You might want to glance through it first, though- I can't remember if there's any violent scenes but there might be (if that's objectionable).
This sounds very similar to a book I read in grade school but I know this isn't it… I didn't like that book at all, though, so I have to suspect I wouldn't like a book like this either and wouldn't want to recommend it to other young readers… Hmm…