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Sparkle and Spin: A Book About Words Hardcover – January 1, 2006

4.1 out of 5 stars 21 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Ann Rand wrote five children's books, four of which were illustrated by her husband.

In addition to the four children's books he illustrated, Paul Rand wrote and co-wrote several others, and designed some of the best-known corporate icons of his time, including the logos for ABC, IBM, and UPS.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Hardcover: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Chronicle Books; 1st Chronicle Books Ed edition (January 1, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 081185003X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0811850032
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 0.4 x 10.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #132,785 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I grew up with this book in the 60s. It was originally published in 1957 -- which shows how incredibly cutting-edge this mid-century modern book was. Through the years later the lessons of the book about language and imagery remained in my mind, and as an adult I finally managed to locate an out-of-print copy. I'm glad it's been republished -- it's true classic by two masters of the era.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I'm oscillating wildly between giving it 5 stars and giving it 2. 3 seemed like a nice compromise :)

This is a book about... words and poetry, but not really. (I'm aware that's clear as mud, but bear with me here.) The author is seeking, I think, to define language and ideas without actually giving definitions. As an example, the first page runs:

What are words?
Words are how what you think inside
comes out
and how to remember what you might
forget about.

The book goes on like this until the end. And honestly, I'm not sure if I like it or not. The author has a gift of putting together language in a way that's friendly and makes the whole concept of "language" clear... but I'm not sure if she goes above the head of her audience or, conversely, is well too easy for them!

The illustrations are cheerfully retro (well, they were modern when this was first in print), no complaints there.

Check this book out of the library before you buy it. And you know what? If you like it, try Margaret Wise Brown's The Important Book. These two have similar styles.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I chose this one for my 5 year old son, but our entire family enjoys reading it. I can't believe it was published so long ago! If you would like to articulate tintinabulate, then BUY THIS BOOK!
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Format: Hardcover
It's fun, it's easy for kids to understand. My twin boys love it, we talk about what is being read and it illustrates through pictures and words how things come together. And then the "why" questions just keep on coming!! Enjoy
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I'm totally smitten with this book and I plan on getting more reprints by the Rands. My son is about 8 months now and certainly doesn't understand the meaning behind this book but it still keeps him entertained (as well as myself!). He draws his hands around the illustrations and is content while listening to what I am reading. I read this so often that I think he recognizes it when I pull it out!

The illustrations are wonderful and I absolutely love the midcentury modern aesthetic. The words are poetic but I feel that they can still be understood by young children. I've read it to a 4 year old and she had a lot of questions as I read but I think that is what makes this book great! How can a book that tries to articulate the word tintinnabulate not be a good book!

I am not sure about the original, but this book has glitter on the front of the book. This is my only complaint. I have never been a fan of glitter because I'll find it on my clothing and skin for days after. I think they took the term "sparkle" too literally when they designed the cover of the book. Really, this is just a minor complaint though. It will never keep me from reading this book to my son almost every evening!

I can't wait until my son is old enough to understand the words in this book because I think he will love it even more!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Sparkle and Spin is my favorite childhood book. My mother was given this book in the late 50's and I found it in her bookcase in the late 80's when I was probably about the same age as she was when she received it from an uncle. I thought the book was magical. I loved the words. I loved that it was difficult to read and the rhymes weren't predictable. The illustrations were unlike anything I was seeing at the time. This book was radical compared to all my other books that seemed mainstream and I loved that no one else knew about it. Kids today have more access to a wider variety of visuals so I don't know how it would affect them, but the book transformed my way of thinking about what was art and what was poetry. I love to get it as a gift for people.
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Format: Hardcover
It is a great chance to own a peice work of a master, reprint after so many years.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The illustrations are a wonderful way to expose young readers to the power of simple abstract imagery. If you love Paul Rand it's a must have. If you don't know who Paul Rand is, this will start you on your way to admiring one of the most influential graphic designers of all time.
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