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Mattland Kindle Edition

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Starred Review. Kindergarten-Grade 2—In this eloquent and beautifully illustrated book, Matt finds himself in yet another new home. Surrounded by an uninspiring landscape and lacking friends, he begins to poke at the mud outside his house. He quickly notices in his marks the beginning of a landscape. Bit by bit, a miniature world unfolds before Matt and readers, assisted by the timid offerings of neighborhood children. When a rainstorm threatens to flood the newly created "Mattland," helping hands appear to route the current safely away. Petricic's understated watercolors are an essential counterpart to Hutchins and Herbert's mature narrative, revealing the promise of new friendships before Matt himself realizes that he is no longer alone. The closing spread of his reflection in "Turtle Lake," surrounded by other children, is a standout. The illustrator skillfully leads readers from gray, nondescript images to a detailed world brimming with color. Children may require the helpful commentary of an adult to fully appreciate this tale, but Mattland has much to offer those who find themselves in a new place, and to creative souls needing inspiration.—Jayne Damron, Farmington Community Library, MI
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

Matt, lonely and disappointed with the gray, soggy landscape that surrounds his most recent abode, picks up a stick and begins to draw in the mud, eventually creating an entire imaginary world that he terms Mattland. Sparse prose and skillful illustrations that become more colorful as Matt's world evolves highlight this Amelia Frances Howard-Gibbon Award winner and will give young readers a sense of the experience of displacement. (Kay Weisman Booklist 2010-01-10)

[starred review] Eloquent and beautifully illustrated... Petric's understated watercolors are an essential counterpart to Hutchins and Herbert's mature narrative, revealing the promise of new friendships before Matt himself realizes that he is no longer alone. The closing spread of his reflection in "Turtle Lake," surrounded by other children, is a standout.... Mattland has much to offer those who find themselves in a new place, and to creative souls needing inspiration. (Jayne Damron, Farmington Community Library, MI School Library Journal 2008-06-00)

"Mattland" is successful on all fronts... Described in spare yet evocative prose, Matt's world grows as he finds new things: a piece of tin becomes a barn; fuzzy seeds become sheep... Illustrator Dusan Petricic (who has dedicated the book to "all displaced children") has made each picture only from Matt's point of view; we see only what Matt sees. And by the end of the book, we understand what it means to him to have created "Mattland" -- he's created a home, so he can feel at home. (Barbara Feinberg The New York Times 2008-11-09)

Winner, Marillyn Baillie Picture Book Award Winner, Marillyn Baillie Picture Book Award (Canadian Children's Book Centre 2009-01-00)

This beautiful picture book captures a small event in a lonely child's life so exquisitely that it takes your breath away... The plot is simple--Matt has no friends in his new neighbourhood, so he begins to draw in the mud outside his home in what looks to be a new subdivision under construction. Soon he has drawn Snake River and Turtle Lake and he creates "Mattland" out of whatever materials come to hand. Without fanfare or comment, another child shows up and hands Matt a popsicle stick. She returns to add more bits and pieces to the landscape, and then when the rains come and threaten to obliterate the increasingly complex Mattland, many hands appear to build dikes and canals to divert the flood. When the sun breaks through, a ring of smiling faces is reflected in Turtle Lake... There's a message here about not needing endless electronic devices in order to have fun, but the ease of connection with other people over a common project is the most valuable lesson illustrated by this story. (Canadian Teacher 2009-12-00)

I love the sparse text and the unique perspective of the images...This is a great book...for talking about feeling...like an outsider. (wordofmousebooks.com 2011-03-16)

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Ms. M. on December 23, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I am 57, and want to help my young students know the happiness they can derive from a vacant lot and a good imagination. As kids, my sister and I would go to the lot after a rainstorm and draw floor plans for our houses with a stick in the wet earth. I now have two books to help me convey the joy of this simple, yet creative, pastime. I am adding this fantastic book to the one I share now: "Roxaboxen."
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By rc on December 20, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
My son loves maps and he loves this book. The story is quite sweet also, although I don't think my son (5 yrs old) really appreciates that part yet. My only complaint is that it is (as are most of the kids books I've bought), poorly converted for iPad format. Still, he asks to read it all the time and even reenacts the idea in our own backyard and park.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Donna Hackman on March 21, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Kids need creativity. Creativity can begin with so little, a stick, mud, water equals a city, a world and friendship. This book sparks imagination! This is a much needed thing for kids anytime and especially today.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Bizzy Liz on December 13, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
My son"s name is Matt, he reads to his twin babies every night. What better book to get? it's a cute story.got one for his house & one for mine, when the twins come to visit.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By R. Averett on January 12, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is an excellent book for elementary as well as a discussion point for older students. Well written with excellent illustrations.
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