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The Forbidden Door

de Marilee Heyer

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Although her people have been forced to live underground for many years by the evil Okira, Reena discovers the forbidden door to the outside world and manages to free them.
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Marilee Heyer, an author/illustrator whose other picture-books - The Weaving of a Dream, Iron Hans, The Girl, the Fish, & the Crown - are adaptations of traditional folk and fairy-tales, delivers an original work of fantasy in The Forbidden Door. The result is a book that absolutely dazzles, when it comes to the artwork, and is fairly engaging, as it concerns the text. I enjoyed the story here - a young girl named Reena, having grown up in an extensive and beautifully-decorated system of underground caves, sets out to discover this legendary "Outside" spoken of in an ancestral tale told by her mother, and finds that she must battle an evil being known as the Okira - but it was Heyer's illustrations that really made this book stand out!

Astoundingly beautiful, this artwork makes me regret that I never encountered it as a young girl! The use of vivid and contrasting color schemes - deep blues and reds, rich browns and oranges - and the intricate and detailed depictions of enchanting rooms and landscapes, and fantastical creatures, combine in full and double-page paintings that are simply breathtaking! I was reminded of the work of Kinuko Y. Craft, and - when it comes to fairy-tale art - I really can't pay a higher compliment than that! I will definitely be tracking down more of Heyer's work, and heartily recommend this one to fairy-tale lovers young and old, and to any reader who appreciates beautiful fairy-tale artwork! ( )
  AbigailAdams26 | Apr 21, 2013 |
This is an exceptionally beautiful story book with large detailed illustrations of an alien world that is located on the smallest star that can be seen in our skies, in the Valley of the Bao-Bickle tree. It is about the quest of a young girl whose home is in an intricate labyrinth of caves and who has never even heard of a world outside of those caves. It is forbidden to go outside. She is very happy with her parents and lives in splendor within the caves where even lush exotic fruit trees are plentiful. One night the little girl learns about Outside from a story her mother tells. She begins to secretly search for this mysterious place and eventually learns the terrifying truth about why her family lives in the caves. With the help of another strange species of beings she sets things to rights. The story is well told and has a decidedly alien feeling of enchantment, danger, courage, hunger and liberation. It is simple enough that little ones will find it an exciting adventure tale and complex enough that adults will find it an atmospheric and moody allegory. The illustrations are INCREDIBLE and like none you have ever seen outside of dreams, visions or hallucinations. ( )
  Treeseed | Mar 4, 2008 |
This was a very beautiful story with beautiful illustrations to accompany the tale. I wish they made more stories like this one - stories with deeper meaning. ( )
  glanecia | Dec 31, 2007 |
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Although her people have been forced to live underground for many years by the evil Okira, Reena discovers the forbidden door to the outside world and manages to free them.

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