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Mr. Peabody's Apples Hardcover – Bargain Price, November 10, 2003

166 customer reviews

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Hardcover, Bargain Price, November 10, 2003
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Editorial Reviews Review

With Mr. Peabody's Apples, her gorgeous sophomore venture into the realm of children's literature, Madonna sustains her transformation from material girl to mom. Inspired by a 300-year-old Ukrainian story and illustrated by the talented Loren Long, Madonna's tale is about the dangers of gossip. As a frequent target of the rumor mill, who better to teach the young ones about the "power of words" and their potential to cause "harm to others" than the newly reformed diva?

Set in a tiny American town, Madonna's story features the big-hearted and much beloved Mr. Peabody, an elementary school teacher and Little League coach who dedicates his summer Saturdays to the local losing team. The kindly teacher seems to savor life the way he savors his weekly apple--taking pleasure in the little things. One weekend after the game, Tommy Tittlebottom watches Mr. Peabody take his apple without paying for it. The following weekend Tommy calls in reinforcements to witness Mr. Peabody's transgression. By the next Saturday, Mr. Peabody's apparent theft has become grist for the Happville rumor mill and no one comes to Little League practice. These moments truly highlight Long's talents as an illustrator--the handsome Mr. Peabody (part Harry Connick Jr., part Robert Redford) comes to life on the page, his disappointment as palpable as that of Billy Little, the young boy who idolizes him. A simple explanation puts the rumors to rest, but as Mr. Peabody points out in a poignant demonstration, small talk can often lead to big trouble for everyone.

In a wonderful departure from her debut children's book The English Roses, Madonna has created a tribute to 1940's small-town America that delivers a fundamental message about respecting others. Children will love Mr. Peabody and parents will appreciate the gentle nudge with which he delivers his message. Mr. Peabody's Apples unfolds slowly, but readers young and old will want to linger over each illustrated page lovingly rendered in a muted pallet of rich color. --Daphne Durham

From Booklist

K-Gr. 2. Was it only last month [BKL O 15 03] that the first of Madonna's children's books, The English Roses, was reviewed? This second offering is an improvement, perhaps because the story isn't hers. The 300-year-old tale from Hassidic master Baal Shem Tov has a strong message, though Madonna's telling is amateurish. Set several decades back, it begins with Mr. Peabody congratulating his Little League team. They have lost, but they had fun! On his way home, he grabs an apple from the fruit market, and Tommy Tittlebottom notices that Peabody doesn't pay. One child tells another, and soon everyone thinks Mr. Peabody is a thief, not realizing that he's made prior arrangements. An apologetic Tommy visits Peabody, who instructs the boy to cut open a pillow and then gather the scattered feathers. Of course, it's an impossible task, just as it's impossible to undo the damage done by the rumors. The heavy-handed text is tempered by wonderful art reminiscent of Norman Rockwell's work, but exaggerated and more richly colored. Illustrator Long is the real find here. Two Madonna books down, three more to go. Ilene Cooper
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Callaway; First edition (November 10, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0670058831
  • ASIN: B001Q9E9EM
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 0.4 x 10.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (166 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #459,404 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

29 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Chaz Macrina on November 11, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Madonna's latest children's book, "Mr. Peabody's Apples," is both charming and refreshing. Madonna brings her unique style in telling the story of a small boy whose hero, his teacher and baseball coach, has seemingly fallen from grace. The childhood disappointment is described with an endearing reminiscent quality without being at all sentimental. The exercise Mr. Peabody gives to his accuser will shake the impulse to ever say a negative word about anyone to its very core. Loren Long's illustrations are exquisite. They remind me of the kind of illustrations I found myself pouring over and imagining about for hours as a child. "Mr. Peabody's Apples" will be appreciated by both children and adults alike for a long time to come. I look forward to the rest of the books in the series.
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28 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Thomas J Amman on December 15, 2003
Format: Hardcover
After reading all 34 reviews thus far, most people that have criticized this book have only made mention of one bad thing.... that Madonna wrote it. Okay, not all, but most.
I have had the opportunity to ask a few CHILDREN, whom the book is made for, on what they think of this book. The overall consensus is that they like it. The responses are that they liked the story, and the characters, and how people need to tell the truth.
I find it incorrect and sophomoric to label the book as "bad' just because of the vendetta some people have against Madonna's other career initiatives. For some reason, she still has a lot of fans out there who are listening-not to marketing, but to what she is talking about. She may have a point, if you listen. The marketing was to get your initial attention I'm sure. After that, be sure to listen to the rest of the message!
I for one am in awe that she attempted something so different and applaud the efforts. BUT, I would be a hypocrite if I started talking about just Madonna and not the book itself.
It's like talking about Kerouac and judging him on his music videos, if he indeed started a musical career (apples--no pun intended-and oranges really). So I say, the book is not the greatest in children's writing I've seen, but I can tell research has been done, and an effort has been made to make a point-a strong point to tell the truth and be the best you can be. It flows, is well structures and serves a purpose of old idealisms.
Children like it, whether I like it or not. They like it, and if they like it, well, it's good that the book was written. Stop picking on the artist, and pick on the work.
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55 of 66 people found the following review helpful By Dogville on November 13, 2003
Format: Hardcover
People should really forget it's MADONNA, the superstar singer, who wrote this book. Just read it. Madonna did come across as somewhat an unpolished writer on The English Roses but if Mr. Peabody's apples is anything to go by, Madonna seems to have found a new niche.

Beautiful illustrations by Lorent Long adorned the book but these aside, it's really Madonna's adaptation of a 3000-year-old styory told to her by her Kaballah teacher that works. In the ned, Madonna will achieve her goal of getting children to choose what they want to say carefully and not cause other people unhappiness. Words, they often cut like a knife. Madonna has a good storytelling approach, often straight to the point and coherent. Kids will relate most easily together with the pictures.

And this book is not only for children but adults alike who are often lost in the tussle of this mad world, so it'll be good something simple but yet so fundamental that few of us actually remember.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Wellness Coach "Wendy" on November 15, 2003
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book I couldn't wait to read since I loved the English Roses book so much. It came to my house and luckily the girl who introduced us the Madonna's first book was over so I gathered the girls and my 4 year old son and read them the book. It was such a good book and they were so interested in why Mr.Peabody would be stealing apples. Before you know it everybody in Mr. Peabody's town thinks he is a thief! I won't give it away but there's a lesson on why the rumors are so hard to take back once they are out there and how damaging they could be to a person. A lesson well told and well learned (hopefully).
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 12, 2003
Format: Hardcover
This book is another treasure. The main message is of course, the power of our words, but Madonna has managed to weave some other subtle yet poignant messages in there as well. (like how the boys don't care that they didn't win their baseball games, they just had so much fun playing - to enjoy things for what they are & appreciate the moment, not just for the end product or outcome) Quite an achievement for a relatively short story. The Illustrations are just incredible - they are rich and have a timeless quality, almost like a modern Norman Rockwell feel. The final Illustration of the pillow has so much meaning even without words - show it to your kids & ask them what they think it is saying! : ) I look forward to the rest of the books in this series - judging from "The English Roses' and now this one, I'm sure they will be just as special. I'm buying copies for my nephews, cousins etc... : )
I'm a long time Madonna fan, and what's interesting to me about her work is how multi-layered it is, if you go to her concerts, you can take them on so many levels, as pure entertainment, great music, a big spectacle - but every show I've seen has SO many subtle messages & layers that unfortunately go unnoticed by most people & especially the media. But they are there nonetheless & that's just part of what makes her a true artist. The only reason I mention this is that it is so interesting to see that this layering & attention to meaning & detail is also so evident in her childrens books. I just hope more people see it!
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