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Once Upon a Memory Hardcover – December 3, 2013


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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

This poetic ode to memory begins when a feather flutters through an open window into a little boy’s room. As the boy picks up the feather, the text asks, “Does a feather remember it once was . . . a bird?” On the right-hand side of the page, kids will see a barbershop for birds, with feathers on the floor. This construction continues throughout, as unrelated objects are presented in terms of their origin: “Does a chair remember it was once . . . a tree?” and “Does a garden remember it was once . . . a pea?” Most of these constructions will require explanation, some more than others. For instance, “Does love remember it once was . . . new?” somewhat confusingly depicts a little boy and an old lady on a bench on the left-hand side of the page and two songbirds courting on the right. Still, the text has a lyrical quality, and Liwska (The Quiet Book, 2010) uses white space effectively, and her animal characters, as always, are soft and inviting. Contemplative and poignant. Preschool-Grade 1. --Ann Kelley

Review

Praise for Once Upon a Memory:
A Bank Street College Children's Book Committee Best Book of 2014 Selection

* "A rhythmic poem explores origins, both physical and abstract...Animal characters are tender and genuine. These musings on memory and change are thought-provoking, yet the piece also works as a lullaby. Reflective and peaceful."

Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"[A] gentle, dreamy picture book...A lyrical series of questions that play with the concept of memory and origins...[are] grounded by Liwska's pencil and mixed-media drawings."—School Library Journal
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 3 - 6 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 1
  • Hardcover: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (December 3, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316208167
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316208161
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 0.5 x 11.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #256,579 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By R. Lorig on December 20, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Nina Laden (The Night I Followed the Dog, Peek-A-Who) has written an instant classic - a beautiful collection of musings on things that are and their connection to things that were. It has an inherent gentleness that is reflected by Renata Liwska's (The Quiet Book, Red Wagon) beautifully soft illustrations. Liwska's art is reminiscent of some of the great Golden Book art that most parents will remember from their own childhoods. Although not specifically a bedtime book, Laden's text has a soothing and easily repeatable quality that should appeal to parents who face the inevitable "read-it-again" plea. Highly recommended!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Denis Vukosav TOP 100 REVIEWER on January 23, 2014
Format: Hardcover
“Once Upon a Memory” written by Nina Laden and illustrated by Renata Liwska is the warm story for children that talks about need to remember our past, of memories what was once and not forgetting all that has led us to today.

The story starts when a feather will drift through one boy window starting his journey while he will follow magical feather to the fantasy world.
On the way that is put in front of him, boy will meet cute animals while his story will be intertwined with motives of our memories, asking our young hero and reader questions such as “Does a book remember it once was a word?”, “Does a chair remember it was once was a tree?”, "Does love remember it once was new?", …

“Once Upon a Memory” is a story that awakens longing, warmth of heart, book full of lyrical motifs that compels the reader to recall some nice memories of what was once. And although this book contains small of text it should be enjoyed slowly, page by page, because every sentence however brief raises many questions and awakens many memories.

Renata Liwska illustrated this book with soft fairytale drawings of boys and wonderful animals he encountered, full of detail and vivid colors in which young readers will enjoy.

Not often is the case that in a picture book adults can enjoy equally as, if not more, than the kids whom we are reading, but “Once Upon a Memory” is such an example therefore this beautiful book can be fully recommended both for text and illustrations, but also due to the feelings that evokes.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Katie J. Summerford on January 1, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Purchased for Christmas, we love this book for our daughter. It's perfect for snuggling before bed. The illustrations are beautiful and my daughter loves naming all the animals. This will be a favorite for a long time.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Bella on January 6, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book has become one of my family's favorites. The artwork and the cadence of the words are perfect. It quickly became one of the most read children's books in our collection.
:)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Pat Zietlow Miller on January 27, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is lovely to look at with beautiful art by Renata Liwska. And the text by Nina Laden is lyrical and lovely. It's quiet and thoughtful and well worth re-reading. The list of memories at the end by the author and illustrator are a very nice touch, and I'm sure it will inspire classroom discussioins and activities of a similar nature. I buy some books to read and then give away. This is one I'm reading and keeping.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Scott Lemmons on July 23, 2014
Format: Hardcover
The book is amazing. I love the illustrations and it is very cleverly written. Disclaimer: I have no personal or financial interest in other booksellers. Now that that's out of the way, because this book is published by Hachette, you can get this book faster and much cheaper though by going to another site like Books A Million because of the Amazon-Hachette dispute. Don't be an uninformed sucker like I was and wait a month (yes it took a month to arrive) to read this book to your child.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Liddiard on March 24, 2014
Format: Hardcover
I was touched by this book, so much so that I brought it home and had my spouse read it too. It's a children's book but it has a message that is universal and appropriate for any age. The illustrations are beautiful with a vintage feel, which never hurts. Altogether a lovely book and I definitely recommend it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By SB on February 9, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a beautiful book--in thought and in illustrations. I have now purchased four for gifts and plan to give them as gifts--with a "Memory photograph" and personal message attached inside the cover.
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