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Clown Paperback – September 15, 1998


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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

A charming book that might be characterized as "a silent film between book covers". Follow the fortunes of Clown -- who starts in a garbage can and ends up in a happy family. Master illustrator Quentin Blake has created an irrepressible character, and action-filled plot, and an eloquent story that can be read on several levels -- all without the use of a single word. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

In this tragicomic, wordless picture book, a discarded clown doll escapes from a garbage can, and endeavors to rescue his fellow toys from the trash. "With a few brushstrokes and scribbles of ink, Blake conveys moods, contrasts economic situations?and praises those who appreciate secondhand items," said PW. Ages 3-8.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 5 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Kindergarten - 3
  • Paperback: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR); Reprint edition (September 15, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0805059334
  • ISBN-13: 978-0805059335
  • Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 0.1 x 10.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #772,973 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 19, 1997
Format: Hardcover
This book, without using any words at all, taught me one of the greatest lessons in life. The co-existence of humility and love. Watching the story develop with eyes and imagination,I realizes that this book allows each reader to come up with their own dialogue, providing a unique, special experience for each child (and adult) who happens upon it. I read this book a few months ago, and loved it. I am 21 years old, and think "Clown" has transcended the language and age barriers some of us have come across. It should be enjoyed by everyone.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By R. Smith on October 4, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I've been reading this captivating story to my 4-year-old daughter for about a year now, and we are both quite fond of it. I think it's one of the easiest wordless picture books to "read" because there is an illustration to depict every little event, so you don't have to rack your brain for words to describe what is going on--I find that the words just flow. The expressive characters seem very real, and the compassionate clown will easily find a place in your heart.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A. Woodley on December 9, 2006
Format: Paperback
This is a wry, funny and wonderful book. Quentin blakes water colours are the best I have seen and the story he tells is amazing. A family dump their toys in a rubbish bin. A clown doll comes to life. He has lost his feet so he finds a pair of shoes, and then goes off searching for someone to save him and his friends. This is the story of his trip, the various people he finds, and the reasons he can't be saved. It is really beautiful and it works on many levels. You can talk about processes of following a story, there is the discussion of what is happening and why. There is the simple narrative you can make, you can get the children to talk about the story (and about the emotions) Overall it has a wonderful happy ending where everything turns up right.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Ulyyf on June 8, 2010
Format: Paperback
This is a classic wordless tale about a thrown-out toy clown who ventures out to find a home for himself and his discarded comrades. Full of humor, and feeling, and a very happy ending - who can not love it?

Some people object to wordless picture books on principle, because they are unfamiliar with them. This is what I have to say to that:

Wordless picture books are PERFECT for pre-readers. It gives them the ability to read a book - REALLY own the experience instead of just "playing" as they must do when they can't understand the words - on their own. It gives them practice in putting together stories and working out details from context. And it allows them to be the expert at some activity that is usually restricted to adults and older children in their life - reading a book.

By that same token, they are also ideal for early readers. It's non-threatening, and yet it's still a way to practice following a storyline. Reading is more than just mechanically putting together sounds and reciting them, after all. Many people are impressed by a five year old who can say, word-perfect, some complex piece he or she "reads" from a page, but later they find out that the child has no idea what they just read and wasn't thinking of reading as an exercise in gleaning meaning from text, but merely as reciting memorized sounds and letter combinations. Working out the story for themselves from a book with no words is a wonderful way to practice this sort of "reading for meaning".

But what of the child who stumbles in reading? Well, the child who stumbles when reading but can tell you WHAT they read is light-years ahead of the one who sounds pretty but doesn't grasp the meaning.
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