Wednesday, April 4, 2007

What I'm Reading: Deep in the Jungle

My son brought home a really fun picture book from school today, Deep in the Jungle by Dan Yaccarino. It was clearly (to me, and, yeah, maybe unintentionally) an allegory of a playwright (or novelist) seduced by Hollywood. In the story, the mighty lion, king of the jungle, gives up his kingdom to go off with a man who promises to make him a big star.

But in order to do so, the lion has to leave the jungle, travel as baggage on the train, wear a leash when he gets there, live in a cage, and then do tricks in the center ring. When he meekly objects, the main replies, "don't think twice about it. Showbiz, you know."

(spoiler alert) Finally, he objects a bit more strenuously about never getting his big roaring solo, and the man replies, "I'm afraid you must always obey me. Showbiz, you know." At which point, the lion swallows the man whole, goes back to the jungle, and rescues all the other animals, who have since been caged.

Kids'll love it. But you might want to get it for your favorite screenwriter/playwright, too.

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