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Alena & the Favorite Thing Paperback – April 1, 2008


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 36 pages
  • Publisher: Edgecliff Press, LLC. (April 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 097986593X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0979865930
  • Product Dimensions: 11 x 8.5 x 0.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,854,951 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

This compelling picture-book story takes the form of a father's nostalgic tribute to his growing child as he follows young Alena through a household journey in search of "Poppa's favorite thing." The story begins with a typical rainy-day predicament: Alena is bored, and Poppa must devise a way to fill her time. They travel through the house in a quest for his elusive favorite item, skirting the basement and under the stairs to end up in Alena's playroom. An extensive sift through the varied mementos of Alena's childhood leads to the revelation that she, herself, is Poppa's favorite thing.

The touching plot is enhanced by Jakub Kuzma's standout illustrations. The characters are unusually expressive; subtle nuances like raised eyebrows and sly sidelong glances are captured expertly on the page and give remarkable depth to the story. The drawings use light, movement, and shadows brilliantly, and there's so much going on in each picture (from Poppa's mismatched socks to the antics of the family cat) that a young reader will be compelled to reach for this colorful book again and again.

In a market flooded with tired plot variations of how mothers love their children, this will be a welcome find for dads seeking a special book to read to their little girls. I recommend Alena & the Favorite Thing as a good addition to the libraries of today's dads and daughters.

The above review was contributed by: Jennifer MacKay: Jenny has published hundreds of newspaper and magazine articles. She is also a journals copy editor for Sage Publications and does independent consulting as a developmental book editor. Her chief writing and editing interests are in the juvenile market. -- Bookpleasures.com Review --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Publisher

Inspired by the birth of his daughter, Alena, Eric Anderson celebrates the unique bond between dads and their daughters, that timeless relationship that Robert Browning described as the "special providence of fatherhood." --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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See all 14 customer reviews
The story is great fun and the illustrations are excellent!
Michael Svolos
I'd recommend this book to anyone with kids looking for a good story and entertaining illustrations to accompany it.
Daniel Keen
The first few times I tried to read the finished book to Alena, I couldn't get through the end without choking up.
E. B. Anderson

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By PeaTee TOP 500 REVIEWER on September 9, 2007
Format: Paperback
What can be worse for kids than an "gloomy, doomy, icky-awful, rainy, yucky, gray and puddly" day. You know the kind. A day when you can't go out and play and all your coloring books seem to be all filled in; and it seems like you've read all your books a hundred times, and even your favorite dolls or trains have lost their luster. Well, of course, there is nothing worse. Unless it is to find out that your daddy has lost his favorite thing, and hasn't a clue where to find it.

I won't tell you what the favorite thing is, as it would ruin the surprise, but I will say that this quest takes the doting father and sweet Alena all over the house. And that this delightful book would be a great choice to pull off the shelf on a rainy day -- or any day. My two (boy and girl; 5 and 7) like to have it read right at bedtime. I think they find the affection between daughter and father soothing.

Five Stars. Very Good Read-Aloud. The artwork is colorful and bright (very special), with lots of gentle, imaginative humor. Another reviewer mentioned that this book would make a good gift and I heartily agree. "Alena and the Favorite Thing" is one of the cutest books we've read in a while. I love the fact that dad's the hero.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Christopher T. Gullen on December 30, 2007
Format: Paperback
After your daughter has graduated from Garrison Keillor's "Daddy's Girl" (which is Brilliant!) and Todd Parr's series of books (also Brilliant), this might be a nice book to move to. With an area of research of mine being in children's media, I am always interested in the representation of the family unit, and Anderson has done a nice job at addressing the father/daughter aesthetic.

While I think that Anderson has written a great book, especially for his first, parents will certainly want to read it initially as it deals with monsters under stairs (I don't understand why Poppa never mentions to Alena that there are NO monsters under stairs and this could potentially frighten younger children) and fixing cats, issues that may not have come up already in normal conversation.

The only criticism is that some of the illustrations are a little strange for a children's book, with certain cartoons bordering on garish, almost "Ren and Stimpy-ish" in nature. I did think that it was rather funny that the father is drawn like he's in his mid-twenties, at least illustrator Kuzma isn't representing dads like the Werther's Original Guy!

For whatever reason, children's books often ignore the father daughter relationship, yet Anderson portrays his father as a loving and gentle figure. Recommended.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on September 7, 2008
Format: Paperback
Alena & the Favorite Thing is a softcover children's picturebook about the loving bond between a young girl and her father, smoothly illustrated in a very distinctive, cartoony style. Alena's Poppa has lost her favorite thing, but he can't quite remember what it is, and asks his daughter to help him find it. Alena and her faithful teddy bear search every place both real and imaginary to find Poppa's favorite thing - which turns out to be nothing less than her joyful smile! A delightful story book especially recommended for fathers and daughters to share.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Shawn on November 5, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Bought this book because my daughters name is Alena! She thought the world of it and it is a vey sweet book. My daughter being the daddy's girl she is absolutely loved the book! So happy with this purchase!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By John Albrecht Jr. on August 10, 2007
Format: Paperback
A heartwarming, touching, tale between a father and daughter. This book would be a favorable read for any young child. Follow Alena on a quest to find her father's favorite thing. What is his favorite thing, you wonder? Snag this book to find out.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Kitty_girl on August 9, 2007
Format: Paperback
"It was another gloomy, doomy, icky-awful, rainy, yucky, gray and puddly, no-good low down day... and Alena was bored."

So begins the search for Poppa's Favorite Thing. But how is Alena supposed to help Poppa find his favorite thing when he doesn't even remember what it is? After searching the basement, the closet under the stairs, and her playroom, Alena is certain they will never find Poppa's favorite thing. But sometimes things can be found in unexpected places, and this is a lesson Alena is about to take to heart.

Alena and the Favorite Thing is a delightful picture book. The witty writing is paired with hilarious illustrations, which makes the book worth reading just by themselves. Add to that mix a great message about parental love, and you've got a great book on your hands.

A. Feller
POD Princess
Originally posted on [...]
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Michael Svolos on August 8, 2007
Format: Paperback
My kids love this book. We have maybe 200 books on the book shelf but they always find this one when we sit down to read. Even my 1 year old likes it. The story is great fun and the illustrations are excellent! I have begun giving this as a gift to all their friends.
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