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On Linden Square Hardcover – September 1, 2013

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

PreS-Gr 3–Home on her winter vacation, Stella Mae Culpepper surveys the scene from her second-floor window overlooking the square below. She spies her many neighbors, none of whom seem to interact with one another. Then, following a heavy snowstorm, she ventures to a park across the street and begins rolling a snowball. Surprisingly, she is soon joined by her fellow residents, all of whom participate in the snow sculpting. Each one has a different interpretation of what they are jointly creating. Readers familiar with children's literature will recognize the characters' references to Ferdinand the Bull, Babar, and Baba Yaga. Stella Mae distills the suggestions and “triumphantly” calls the sculpture, “Ferdinand Ganesh, the Jazzy Dancing Baba Feng Shui Elephant-Mouse.” Outdoors for the rest of the day, the celebrating neighbors interact eating latkes and tacos with cider, enjoying music, and dancing by candlelight. Sullivan's friendly storytelling is accompanied by pen-and-ink and watercolor illustrations that are reminiscent of Quentin Blake's style. Sullivan outlines elements using narrow black lines and tucks in small details. Along with giving the characters even more personality, the artwork nicely defines the setting. This pleasant story would be a worthy choice for libraries needing picture books with a message about cooperation and being neighborly.–Lynn Vanca, Freelance Librarian, Akron, OHα(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist

While there are many books about building friendships, this one celebrates the creation of a community. Initially, the neighbors of Stella Mae Culpepper keep to themselves, listening to their own music, riding their bikes, and playing with their dogs. And Stella remains aloof, too, as an observer. But a snowstorm brings them all out at once, first to wonder at Stella’s snow sculpture creation and then to join in, adding unique features including horns and dancing feet. Ultimately, they create Ferdinand Ganesh, the Jazzy Dancing Baba Feng Shui Elephant-Mouse, a reflection of their varied cultures and interests and whimsical enough to delight all readers. Sullivan’s watercolor illustrations, which leave plenty of white space on the page, are lively and fluid, with few straight lines outlining soft colors. The cartoonlike humans are more realized by their actions than their features, but the text and illustrations individualize them all, showing their unique interests. A glossary at the conclusion explains many of the musical terms interspersed in the text, along with cultural references. Move over, Frosty, more imaginative snow sculptures are on the way. Preschool-Grade 1. --Edie Ching

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Product Details

  • Grade Level: 1 - 3
  • Hardcover: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press (September 1, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1585368326
  • ISBN-13: 978-1585368327
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 9.5 x 11.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #798,538 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Kate Sullivan likes to play around with words, music and pictures.

A linguist by training (B.A. in French and Latin), she is also an award-winning composer and performer. Her one-woman theatre piece about Lotte Lenya and Kurt Weill won the Independent Reviewers of New England prize and her Fugitum Est was premiered by The Kremlin Chamber Orchestra at Carnegie Hall. She has also given many solo performances, from Sculler's Jazz Club in Boston to Madame Tussaud's Wax Musuem in New York, always singing and playing, anything from the piano to the musical saw.

Above all, she is a storyteller who uses a multi-media approach to touch audiences.

She has been painting for many years, everything from portraits and landscapes to cartoons.

Kate has written and illustrated a travel memoir Eating Through Italy, a screenplay, The Secret Lives of Bartlesby Westside, numerous short stories and also has drawers full of poetry that she's done absolutely nothing about.

Kate lives with her husband Bill, in Newburyport, MA, a little city on the ocean, where they enjoy a country mouse, city mouse life.

Kate is working on the next book about Stella Mae Culpepper and her neighbors.

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Constance FitzGerald on October 3, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Beautifully written and illustrated story about a young girl and the way in which her knowledge of and relationship with her neighbors is changed after a snowstorm. Stella Mae Culpepper has observed her neighbors and thinks she knows them but has never said hello to any of them because they never said hello to her. After a wondrous snowstorm, she goes to the square and begins to build in the snow. All of the neighbors eventually join in and create a truly unique sculpture. The neighborhood comes together in myriad ways culturally, musically and culinary and a transformation takes place. It's funny and touching and a wonderful read for children and their parents.
The book even includes a glossary that explains the musical and cultural references that may not be familiar to the children (or their parents)..
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Format: Hardcover
It was boring, nothing but boring. Stella Mae Culpepper stood on her bed looking on the window on “the first day of winter vacation.” The most exciting thing were her red and white stripped pajamas. Stella Mae listened and watched her boring Linden Square neighbors did all the boring things they always did. None of them really ever spoke to her, but she knew all about them. Fernando lived upstairs and “liked to play video games and sing karoaoke.” Of course he couldn’t hold a tune. And then there was Miss Arpeggio, the Mouse Lady, and the old man who collected bottles. It was boring, nothing but boring. There wasn’t much going on in Linden Square.

Stella Mae looked around Linden Square with her binoculars. Next door, across the street, upstairs, and downstairs people went about their business. Downstairs “a guy with a pencil mustache practiced the slide trombone.” Fum, fum, fum! Across the street a couple of kids were having a pillow fight and that was a little tiny bit more interesting. That night the snow began to swish and swirl around the building. “It snowed all night, all the next day, and into the next night.” The next day Stella Mae ran out to greet the snow and began to make a snow sculpture. Linden Square, the boring, nothing but boring, neighborhood suddenly sprang to life. What could possibly happen to make that boring neighborhood seem exciting?

This is the tale of Stella Mae Culpepper who discovered that Linden Square really was a fun place to live. Naturally, Stella Mae, like many children, are very curious and know everything there is to know about their neighborhoods, but don’t actually know some of the people.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Darci Perreault on December 1, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Fabulous book!!! This is a wonderful children's book. The story is creatively written with fabulous illustrations. I hope there will be more books written by Kate Sullivan!
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Format: Hardcover
Stella Mae Culpepper lives in an apartment on Linden Square, a community where no one really talks to each other despite being so close together. Each one is different and we see them all through Stella's eyes. When the snow comes the night of the first day of winter vacation everything changes.

This well-written, lively illustrated book not only increases a child's vocabulary but shows them what can happen when a community comes together. In the back you will find a wonderfully detailed glossary clearly explaining some of what was written about in the main text: karaoke, arpeggio, Moonlight Sonata, pianissimo, Ferdinand the Bull, Babar, Ganesh etc. Got you curious? Take a peek!
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By rhody ahtist on January 17, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Stella Mae Culpepper lives in an apartment with a wide array of quirky neighbors... none of whom she knows. After a big snowstorm, she goes out to make a snowman, and sets off a series of events that end with Linden Square becoming a community. A book to celebrate!
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