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The Skywriter Hardcover – September 16, 2008


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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

When does a child lose faith in make-believe? How does the power of imagination fade? Haseley (Twenty Heartbeats) and Nolan (The Castle Builder) explore these questions in their quiet tale of a boy's evolving relationship with his toy airplane and the dollhouse figures that fly it. As Charles grows older, the voices of his toys grow fainter, until one day he can no longer hear them and throws away the playthings. But their hold on his imagination remains, and he rescues them from the trash to pass on to his soon-to-be-born brother. The toys speak among themselves when alone on the page, lending a subtle truth to Charles's pretend. Especially effective are the occasional intersections of imagination and reality—an airplane in the sky dips its wings in farewell when Charles can no longer hear his toys speak. Haseley's poetic, restrained language pairs well with Nolan's representational illustrations, which are softened by a mixed-color sepia wash. The sensibility and scope, however, may be too adult; children may find the paucity of action combined with the muted illustrations less than compelling. Ages 4–8. (Sept.)
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From School Library Journal

Grade 1–3—With dreamlike images and believable text, this picture book takes readers into an imaginative world and encourages them to reminisce about their favorite toys and make-believe adventures. The story opens as a young boy plays with a dollhouse and its accompanying figures—a baker, a soldier, and an airplane man. They talk to him and take him on fantastic pretend journeys. Time passes, and the dolls are mostly forgotten, but when Charles and his sister must clean up their playroom for a new brother, they are reminded of the time when they would hear the toys' voices and they wonder why, as they grew up, the voices stopped. Ultimately, Charles rescues these favorite items from the trash can, and the final page shows his baby brother playing with them. Depicting realistic-looking characters and just a touch of fantasy, Nolan's watercolor and colored pencil illustrations are descriptive and comforting.—Susannah Richards, Eastern Connecticut State University, Willimantic, CT
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Kindergarten - 3
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Roaring Brook Press (September 16, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1596432527
  • ISBN-13: 978-1596432529
  • Product Dimensions: 11.6 x 0.4 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,121,333 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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