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Bartholomew Biddle and the Very Big Wind
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Format: Hardcover
Screenwriter, director and producer Gary Ross has won plaudits for his work in each of those fields and he's about to receive another high-five from me for his first children's book. Bartholomew Biddle is a winner, filled with excitement, surprise, adventure and a moral - all delivered in rhyme.

Bartholomew is five feet of derring-do who cannot resist the call of a gusty wind that blows by his window one night. In a matter of seconds he has grabbed the corners of his bed sheet, stood on the window sill and realized that "...this silly old wind was nothing to fear with a bed sheet to sail and an instinct to steer."

He took quite a ride on this "granddaddy of Winds" first landing in a treetop bed where he spends the night. With morning he discovers he's on an island inhabited by pirates. Surprisingly enough, the buccaneers turn out to be friendly and soon Bartholomew joins them in a succession of days filled with fun. However, all realize that constant fun isn't fun if that's all you know, So, Bartholomew waits for the right wind and takes off again.

He enjoys several adventures and makes a good friend before realizing that he should be going home. What he finds when he gets there is a worthy lesson for both young ones and their parents.

Full color paintings by Matthew Myers bring added life to the tale.

Highly recommended.

- Gail Cooke
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on January 1, 2013
Format: Hardcover
About the book: Bartholomew Biddle's life has always been pretty ordinary, but when a huge wind blows past his window one night, he feels the call of adventure -- and he can't resist the urge to grab his bedsheet and catch a ride. Soon he's soaring far above his little town, heading wherever the wind takes him! After spending time on an island full of pleasure-seeking pirates and at a prep school that boasts a hundred shades of gray, Bart finds himself in a mysterious cove where the wind doesn't blow. Stuck, Bart is forced to face the fact that his flying days might be over. Will he ever get home again?

A soaring bedsheet carries a young boy on three incredible adventures in this compelling debut by acclaimed film director Gary Ross.

My thoughts: This is a magical book of adventure filled with bold, boy-loving pictures by artist Matthew Myers who wields his oil filled brush boldly on canvas to create images to bring the most adventurous boy's fancy to life.

I love the poetic story format and while lengthy it will capture the imagination and interest of readers and listeners alike. Example: After he lands in pirate paradise...

"So, you thought we were all
just some nasty marauders,
larcenous thieves,
and petty defrauders?

"But nothing, you see,
could be further from true.
I mean, why do we all
do the things that we do?

"The rings in our noses,
the parrots, the rum--
we just do that stuff
because it is fun!"

Children will build learning and listening skills by engaging in a story written in rhyme and this one is lengthy which will aid in their development of a learning attention span. Their vocabulary will be challenged and increased and it will stick because it comes to them in the poetic format.

The book is about imagination and the worlds of adventure our imaginations can take us on. It is also about parents realizing that their child will eventually take off on his/her own adventures as the child grows into maturity.

My concerns: In the book are the use of "Oh, my gosh! Oh, my God!" which I find offensive and entirely uncalled for - especially in children's literature.

DISCLOSURE: I was provided a complimentary copy of Bartholomew Biddle and the Very Big Wind by Candlewick Press on behalf of the author for the purpose of my honest review. Opinions expressed are solely my own. Another copy is being provided by Candlewick Press for the purpose of the giveaway and will be shipped directly to the winner by Candlewick Press.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on December 17, 2012
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
Bartholomew Biddle is the book I wish I had when I was a kid. It's not that I didn't have books that captured my imagination. Narnia and the like took well care of that. But it's a book that most reminds me of all the things I loved about movies like "The Goonies," stories that dared ask, how could you ever possibly be bored when adventure is right outside your window?

Bartholomew Biddle finds new worlds to explore by simply grabbing a bed sheet and riding the winds. He meets and befriends pirates in one world, gets caught in a valley that seems to trap all explorers, as it's there he meets Amelia Earhart, and most importantly passes on his knowledge of flight to a boy trapped in a world that seems lifted from "A Wrinkle in Time."

The story is written in verse and fortunately never gets bogged down in it. The illustrations are beautiful and equal to the story itself.

It is a book that parents should read to children right before they go to sleep at night, because it will undoubtably cue up the most amazing dreams.
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on October 16, 2013
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
I have been waiting for Bartholomew Biddle since 1996. Little did I know then that beyond what was read in a movie, The Trigger Effect, nothing more of BB's tale existed! The internet was still new and every few years I'd search for BBATVBW, eventually finding in the new century a response from the author about his story. How he wanted to finish it, how he was busy and hopefully one day he would. Alas, I wept...I feared it would always be on the back burner until it was too late...for the author or even myself...
When my first son was born in 2003, I printed out the only 2 or so pages I could find that had been written and I would read it to my boys over the years...always checking the internet for more...always wondering....patiently waiting...
and then! one day! to my surprise! I saw a pre-order sale on Amazon!
The rest is history....I'm in love...I'm grateful...I'm relieved...I tear up when I think about all we went through to be together...Thank you Mr. Gary Ross <3
btw, this story is much longer than I ever hoped for...this is not a book to read in one sitting before bedtime which is perfect! the boys can't wait to find out what happens next =)
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on December 9, 2013
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
This is a book full of fun and fancy that any boy (or girl) would love. Who has not wished to fly with a bed sheet? It is a long book, broken into chapters so you can enjoy it for more than one night of bed time stories. The illustrations are wonderful. I am sure if I had it as a young boy it would have been a favorite but I can still enjoy reading it today to grand children!
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on February 11, 2013
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
So far my daughter and I are really enjoying this book. It is a great read filled with fun words and many interesting illusions. Hope the 2nd half is as good as the first. I love they rhyming nature as it brings a new element to my daughters reading.
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on January 17, 2013
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
My 3 and 5-year-old grandsons enjoyed Bartholomew Biddle very much, especially at bedtime. It fires their imaginations and leads to storytelling.
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on April 30, 2013
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
Our great-grandson loves this book! His mom loves it too, as she reads to him every night. It is an exciting adventure for a five-year-old.
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on January 22, 2014
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
My husband and I waited for this to become a real book for almost 16 years. Thank you Gary Ross!
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on January 18, 2013
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
Since I bought it to read to my grandchildren I was dismayed by the fact that it contained the phase OMG, (written out) I know it's common usage but I'm old fashioned enough that I believe saying that is using the Lord's name in vain. Maybe young children are not the audience for which it was intended.
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