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The Salamander Room (Dragonfly Books) Paperback – March 1, 1994


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 3 - 7 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 2
  • Lexile Measure: 660L (What's this?)
  • Paperback: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Dragonfly Books; 1st Dragonfly Books Ed edition (March 1, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0679861874
  • ISBN-13: 978-0679861874
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 9.9 x 0.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #35,645 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

PW described this "atmospherically illustrated" tale about a boy's plans to accommodate a salamander as a "fitting tribute to a child's perseverance and imagination," Ages 4-8.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

PreSchool-Grade 2-- Brian's determination to keep a salamander in his room is met with quizzical concern on the part of his mother--"Where will he sleep?. . . where will he play?" Inquiries are answered with imaginative solutions that will be familiar to all those who have tried to convince a parent to let them have a pet. Johnson's lush, shadowy paintings depict each addition to the cumulative scenario as Brian's cozy bedroom is gradually transformed into a dark green forest that overflows the pages as the fantasy becomes more elaborate. From its rich green endpapers through its handsome typeface, this is a beautifully designed mood piece. The subtle implication that animals require responsible handling is positive, although readers caught up in the fantasy are never brought back to mundane reality. Johnson's salamander is realistically depicted, yet imbued with personality, whether wistfully peering through the bedroom window to see his forest friends or snuggled under leaves sleeping next to Brian. He will have young readers yearning for salamander rooms of their own. --Louise L. Sherman, Anna C. Scott School, Leonia, NJ
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Quite a lot of Anne Mazer's writing education took place while she was unconscious. Her parents wanted desperately to become writers and made themselves get up at 4:00 a.m. Every morning in order to have writing time before their three young children awoke. The first thing Anne heard every day was two big, noisy electric typewriters. The furious sound of typing was her childhood wake-up music. During the day, her parents endlessly discussed ideas, plot, and character, and before she was seven years old, Anne knew about revisions, first and second drafts, and rejection slips. It was like growing up in a twenty four hour, seven day a week writer's boot camp.

In order to escape from her parents' obsession with writing, Anne turned to books. She was an avid reader from an early age and credits her love of reading for her writing career. Her favorite works were fantasy, fairy tales, historical fiction, humor, realistic fiction, and adventure. Her other interests were language, art, history, and science. At the age of twelve, she wanted to be an actress, a ballerina and a nuclear physicist. These careers were rapidly eliminated as she realized that a) she couldn't dance, b) she couldn't act; and c) she hated math.

Although at the time Anne thought writing was nothing but a nuisance, she now considers herself very lucky to have grown up with two aspiring writers. She learned a lot about discipline, perseverance and dedication to a craft from witnessing her parents' struggle. They eventually became successful and award-winning young adult novelists.

It took Anne a long time to figure out that she, too, wanted to be a writer. During early adulthood, she worked as an au pair, a bank teller, a pill bottle labeler, a receptionist, an English tutor, and an administrative assistant, as well as other jobs that she was ill-suited for. She attended three universities, spent several years in Paris, traveled throughout Europe, and worked in Boston and New York City.

Anne's "eureka" moment about writing came while she prepared a research report for one of her bosses. As she lovingly polished each sentence, and meticulously organized the paragraphs, she realized that no one really cared how beautifully she wrote about the latest models of air-conditioners. Except her, of course.

Using her parents' model of daily writing and discipline, she began to write. It took her seven years to publish her first book, a picture book inspired by her then two year old son, Max.

Anne is the mother of an adult son and daughter. Over the last twenty years, she has written over forty-five books for young readers. She has enough ideas to last for another quarter century and hopes that she will be writing for a very long time.

Fun Facts About Anne Mazer

* Her favorite foods are popcorn, rice pudding and blueberries.
* When she was a kid, she would sometimes read up to ten books a day.
* If she had magic powers, she'd choose invisibility.
* She painted the rooms in her house yellow, orange, and violet.
* One of her favorite childhood books was The Twilight of Magic, by Hugh Lofting.
* When Anne was a teenager, her room was so messy that she needed a map to get from the door to the bed. (sort of)
* In school Anne often flunked her favorite creative subjects, like writing and art.

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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The beautiful illustrations are an amazing compliment to the imaginative story.
jeannine: waddleeahchaa
One of the favorite in my library for my grandchildren...so I recently purchased a new book for a charity...just couldn't give up the old, much loved copy...
Diane Martin
This is a wonderful story for all children - especially for the ones who desire to bring home live "treasures" from nature to keep in their room!
Nature Mom w/ 2 children + EE & Management degrees

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Rebecca Brown on December 5, 2001
Format: Hardcover
This is a simple story of a child who finds, beneath the leaves, a bright & lively creature & brings him home where his mother asks him how he'll take care of his newfound friend.
If a picture tells a thousand words then Steve Johnson's speak volumes. Vivid, compelling & so very magical & real, Brian's adventures & dreams fill the pages with the familiar & the whimsical. I loved the bed Brian made for his friend in his nightstand drawer & the moon & stars on his headboard. Unloading leaves with his dump truck & when the salamander peeks out of Brian's bedroom window, oh, you know you've seen that kind of energy, exhileration & anticipation!
A wonderful book of heartwarming visions with a simple, important story to tell about the responsibility & fun of bringing home wild creatures.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By celandine on July 8, 2002
Format: Paperback
This story is a sort of little boy's fantasy- taking home a salamander, and making all the necessary accomodations to make it comfortable. He eventually imagines his room full of starry moss and boulders filled with water pools for drinks, buzzing with insects and swooping birds to gobble up the extras, towering with trees, and sprinkled with stars. What wonder of the imagination!
My brother was fondly called "Alexander Salamander" when he was little, so it was only appropriate that he--and I--would love this book. We were also mini-naturalists and wild fanatsizers, and this was a perfect way to let our imaginations jump one last time before the book, and the night, ended sleepily and peacefully.
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Format: Paperback
I love how the mother and child in this story interact. When the child wants to keep the salamander he found, the mother (instead of saying "no" or lecturing him about why we don't take creatures out of their natural habitat) asks him questions that require the child to think about what the salamander needs to sleep, eat, play and more. Step by step the boy imagines how he could meet the salamander's needs, yet still keep it in his room, which is now quickly turning into a woodland paradise for his new friend. This is a wonderful story for all children - especially for the ones who desire to bring home live "treasures" from nature to keep in their room!
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Derrick Jensen on December 25, 2002
Format: Paperback
I don't normally read children's books, but this one is wonderful! The story and writing are very moving, the illustrations are beautiful. And the message!!!!! The message is wonderful, about dropping the walls that separate us from the natural world, inviting nature into our lives. I cannot recommend this book too highly.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Craig on April 7, 2003
Format: Paperback
... because I've worn out the paperback reading it to my kids. It is a favorite with my son (now 7). Wonderfully illustrated. Wonderfully imaginative. Get lost in "The Salamander Room" today.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By "luvamoose67" on November 15, 2001
Format: Paperback
This beautifully illustrated book brings to pictures how a small child's mind works. 'Of course a salamander will be comfortable in my room, I'll just... '
This book is a very enjoyable read with any young child (I'd say up to 8 or so easily). The illustrations remind me of a dream--or being a child and figuring out the logistics of a similar situation.
If you have a little herpetologist in your life, this book is a winner. If you have no idea that a herpetologist is one who studies reptiles and amphibians, no matter. It is still a beautiful children's book about what unlimited imagination can do.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Teri Carson on January 1, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This gentle story about a boy's desire to make his room a good home for a salamander is one of our family's favorites. The boy's imagination runs wild as he creates the perfect environment for the salamander - and for himself, as well. This book makes a great bedtime story for parents and children alike.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Child Care Provider on November 30, 2006
Format: Paperback
The Salamander Room has a great expression of the creativeness of a child's mind. This book is an amazing story for children. In this story a young boy, Brian finds a salamander while exploring the forest and takes it home. Like most mothers, his is worried how he will care for his new friend. Brian's mother asks him many questions concerning the care for this unusual house guest. For every question Brian has an answer. With every answer Brian finds that it's better to bring Nature in to make his friend comfortable and feel right at home. As a mother I appreciated the author's expression of how creative a child's mind can be. This book also demonstrates how amazing children really are. My children and I enjoyed this book and I would highly recommend it in every child's library.
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