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Hattie and the Wild Waves: A Story From Brooklyn (Picture Puffins) Paperback – July 1, 1993


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 3 - 5 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - Kindergarten
  • Lexile Measure: 730L (What's this?)
  • Series: Picture Puffins
  • Paperback: 48 pages
  • Publisher: Puffin; Reprint edition (July 1, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140541934
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140541939
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 10 x 0.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #896,003 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Readers have come to expect a great deal from this talented Caldecott Medalist ( Ox-Cart Man ; Miss Rumphius ). Even her most demanding fans will be captivated by the richly detailed paintings that illustrate this heartwarming narrative. Based on her mother's childhood, this somewhat autobiographical account glows with the rich traditions of familial love. Hattie, whose parents came to this country from Germany, lives in Brooklyn during the winter months, and spends the summers in Far Rockaway--in a glorious, sprawling house surrounded by water. But wherever she is, Hattie wants to spend all of her time painting. With the passing years, as Hattie's father becomes wealthier and her surroundings grow even more luxurious, her dream of being an artist becomes increasingly important to her. And, as a young woman, she does what she did as a girl: she listens to the surf crashing onto the Brooklyn shore. " ' You will make beautiful, beautiful pictures ,' said the wild waves." Cooney's lucid, poetic text and striking artwork evoke both the simplicity and the elegance of a bygone era. Ages 3-8.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

Grade 1-3-- A little girl recounts the story of her family's life in Brooklyn at the beginning of the century. Her prosperous father builds houses so they can afford to vacation on Coney Island and Long Island, where her imagination blooms. She wishes with the waves and decides to pursue her love of drawing and become an artist when she grows up. Hattie's large extended family gathers for Sunday dinners and holidays, and Cooney fills her graceful prose with details of their daily lives: what they ate, the composition of the furniture, the snippets of German dialect. Her stately paintings, whose landscapes and figures call to mind Miss Rumphius (Penguin, 1982), illuminate these details with warmth and rich tones. While old-fashioned life in a rich household may be foreign to most readers, a child's dream, like Hattie's, is a universal one. The fairly lengthy text and follow-your-calling theme are leavened by Cooney's humorous touches and luminous full-page paintings. The nostalgic mood and subject lend themselves fully to the study of family history, immigration, or a unit on New York. Ornamental endpages like stained glass portend the elegance of Hattie's world. --Marianne Pilla, formerly at Upper Dublin Public Library, Dresher, PA
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Barbara Cooney and her twin brother were born on August 6, 1917 in Brooklyn, New York to Russell Schenck Cooney and Mae Evelyn Bossert. Because her father was a stockbroker, her family lived in suburbia, which Barbara disliked.
Cooney attended a boarding school as a child. Never considering an art school and wanting a liberal arts education, she later attended Smith College where she studied art history and received her degree in 1938, a decision she was later to regret.
Realizing that she needed to make a living at something, she decided that illustrating books was a career as good as any. She attended classes on etching and lithography at the Art Students League in New York City.
She quickly received assignments after getting a portfolio together and schlepping it around to publishers, but, unfortunately, World War II postponed her new career for a bit. Recalling an earlier trip to Germany prior to the war and the horrors that she had seen there, she was compelled to join the Women's Army Corps during the summer of 1942.
She enrolled in officer training and achieved the rank of second lieutenant, but was honorably discharged the following spring because of marriage and the pregnancy of her first child, Gretel. She married Guy Murchie, Jr., a war correspondent, in December of 1944. In 1945, the young couple bought a farm in Pepperell, Massachusetts where they ran a children's camp during the summer months. One can only imagine that, perhaps, family life didn't suit Mr. Murchie and the couple divorced in March of 1947, but not before having one more child, Barnaby.
With a young family to support, Cooney resumed her career in book illustration. She married Charles Talbot Porter, a physician, on July 16, 1949, and the couple had two more children, Charles Talbot Jr. and Phoebe Ann.
By this time, Cooney was illustrating several books a year and even wrote one herself now and then. In fact, it was for her adaptation of Chaucer's The Nun Priest's Tale that she won the prestigious Caldecott Medal in 1959.
Cooney was a stickler for details and traveled extensively to support her research. A visit to Mexico was required to study at the art and anthropological museums there. A visit to Finland was in order to meet with artist, writers and folklorists there.
Cooney died on 14 March, 2000 at the age of 83. Her last book was Basket Moon published in September of 1999
In the later part of her career Cooney focused on writing and illustrating more books of her own, and these were equally well--received. Miss Rumphius, for which the author won both the American Book Award and a New York Times citation in 1982, was inspired by the true story of a woman who traveled the world collecting flower seeds and came home at last to make something beautiful. Her most recent books include Hattie and the Wild Waves.

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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Unfortunately, the story is a bit vague.
E. R. Bird
From the wonderful German traditions and occasional word to the detailed pictures of life at the turn of the century, Barbara Cooney has written a true joy to read.
Janice G. Devereux
Some parts of the story seemed to be a bit fragmented, hopping around from one topic to another without much preamble.
DeeDee Fox

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 15, 2000
Format: School & Library Binding
I am a huge fan of Barbara Cooney, whose illustrations and words have made me want to travel like Miss Rumphius, live by the sea like Hattie, and read more biographies because of Eleanor(a role model of mine). Hattie and the Wild Waves tells of a little girlk whose wealthy family moves from seaside house to seaside house, each time with more passion from Hattie on her love for the sea. From her big sister's wedding to the pink card that tells her fortune, Hattie and her ambitious spirit will capture your heart, and the beautiful illustrations will capture your admiration. Read it. You will love it.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Janice G. Devereux on September 18, 2001
Format: Paperback
We had to finally buy this book, because I had simply borrowed it from the library too many times! Hattie who is from a well to do German immigrant family has a mind of her own. While her sister excels at all the correct things such as needlepoint and piano, Hattie has no interest and is off drawing pictures. She looks to the ocean, her lifelong friend, for reassurance that she is choosing the correct path. From the wonderful German traditions and occasional word to the detailed pictures of life at the turn of the century, Barbara Cooney has written a true joy to read.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Catherine Hallberg on June 22, 2002
Format: Paperback
Hattie grows up in growing New York City, creating, participating with her wealthy family and occasionally talking about what she will do with her life. She accepts the changes her father goes through that affects her and she does her best with them.
Finally, one day she makes her big announcement that she will become a painter. Thankfully, her family is happy with her choice and compares her to her famous painting grandfather, but Hattie is able to tell that she will be, "a painter like Me." My daughter appreciates the message that this creative, painting girl grows up to do what her heart tells her to do, in the way she plans.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Barbara Cooney's ever distinctive voice in this beautiful and haunting tale. Evocative of a distant past, written, it seems, from the vivid point of view of an eyewitness.
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