The Children’s Book Review | October 7, 2019
The Boy Who Was Fire
Written by Marcus Kahle McCann
Illustrated by Zita Varga
Age Range: 5-9
Hardcover: 28 pages
Publisher: Marcus Kahle McCann (June 1, 2019)
What to Expect: Fire, Regeneration, Acceptance, and Nature
Using lyrical prose, author Marcus Kahle McCann has written a story that feels like both a mystical and metaphorical telling of regeneration and new beginnings. It could also be perceived as a silver lining fable for people whose hometowns have been stricken by fire. Or, perhaps, for some readers, the expressive nature of this book will open up conversations on the importance of paying attention to our Earth.
When a wise tree is struck by lightning, a fire is born to her—a glowing baby with hair like a flickering candle. His mother cradles him until she can no longer contain him. The news breaks and every person and forest fears the fire that harnesses so much heat and energy. The fire boy grows bigger, transforming from the small baby and igniting into a young man. He encounters a lonely house. The house fears the fire, but when she looks beyond this spark of a young man she discovers that life is now blooming in areas that were once dead. She lets him inside and accepts him. From the safety of the hearth, he brings warmth and light and new life to the once lonely home. His father strikes proudly from the sky and his mother stands proudly upon her hill.
Beginning with the mystical book cover, the tone is set for a transcendent experience. On one page the words have been designed into an illustrated burning newspaper, alongside a silhouetted Earth that is one-third ravished by the fire boy who appears to be picking up speed. Despite the dramatic and serious tone, the combination of the words and pictures are actually quite soothing, denoting how magical, wise, and kind Mother Earth truly is.
If a tale of both imagination and intellect appeal to you, The Boy Who Was Fire will likely have you thinking deeply. It will surely spark conversation and hopefully chatter about the power of acceptance, especially towards others with a pent up need and strong desire for a home (whatever home means to you).
Buy the Book
About the Author
Kahle is an award-winning playwright and lyricist and is part of Mildly Fearsome Films, a production company based in Los Angeles where he lives with his wife, Becky. Kahle firmly believes that if Writers write at the top of their intelligence, Readers will read at the top of theirs and that if they read or hear enough stories that are “over their heads,” it won’t be long before they have taller heads… not literally… Kahle does NOT promote the idea that literacy leads to weird cranial mutations.
About the Illustrator
Zita is an illustrator and graphic designer from Hungary currently living and working as a freelancer in Prague. She believes in the magical power of the visual arts to enlighten, inspire, and empower; drawing (no pun intended) her inspiration from her own childhood as well as her friends and their children and the details of the world they share. If you would like to see more of her work, you can do so at zizugraphics.com.
Dedicated Reviews allow authors and illustrators to gain prompt visibility for their work. This non-biased review of “The Boy Who Was Fire” was sponsored* by Pockets Of… Publishing. Learn more about getting a book review …
What a cool concept! My kid will dig this for sure. I lived in California and the fires there while devastating will cause a regeneration and things will flourish and grow again. My daughter is reading Madame X by Eileen Conway at the moment, a fun dose of magic and a great story, I recommend it. McCann may be a good author to look more into for sure!