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The Swing Board book – November 5, 2012

ISBN-13: 978-1897476482 ISBN-10: 1897476485 Edition: Brdbk

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 1 - 3 years
  • Board book: 16 pages
  • Publisher: Simply Read Books; Brdbk edition (November 5, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1897476485
  • ISBN-13: 978-1897476482
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 5.6 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #496,294 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Review of When I Was Small:

Quill and Quire Review:

Ever curious Henry, whose enquiries about the recent past formed the basis of Sara O’Leary and Julie Morstad’s previous collaborations, When You Were Small and Where You Came From, has another question for his mother, this time asking her for a story about when she was small. Henry’s mother answers with a series of very short, beautifully bizarre anecdotes delivered at the pace of one per page.

 

The book takes the idea of Henry’s mother being “small” literally – she is pictured skipping rope with a ball of yarn, swimming in a birdbath, and standing on a spool of thread. The dreamy quality of both text and image gives the book a slightly low-energy feel, but it may be the perfect thing for a kid who is just a little quiet, a little shy, but still inquisitive – a child not unlike Henry. The result is a perfect antidote for parents whose retinas have been scorched by too much Dora the Explorer.

 

Small visual details, such as the frequent hand-lettering and the spot illustrations, add to the book’s quiet impact. The framing of the narrative, with Henry’s question at the beginning and his mother’s comments at the end, gives kids something concrete to hang onto throughout.

 

When I Was Small is not only a charming picture book, but by focusing on the parent’s past instead of the child’s, it also has the potential to be a great conversation starter.

 

Reviews and Awards for Singing Away the Dark

Finalist for the 2011-2012 Chocolate Lily Awards

Finalist for the 2011 Marilyn Baillie Award, Canadian Children's Book Centre!

Finalist for the 2011 Amelia Frances Howard-Gibbon Award Shortlist

Finalist for the 2011 Shortlist for the Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Children's Book Awards 

 

Kirkus Review

In the back of beyond, a girl sets out for the schoolbus stop, a good long cross-country hike away. It’s winter. The snow nearly tops her boots; the fog of her breath streams behind her. It’s still dark, artfully evoked by the deep inkiness of Morstad’s night sky (played off against luminescent birch trunks and dazzled by a pair of red mittens and a yellow lunchbox) and Woodward’s verse: “I don’t allow myself to stop / to look between the trees, / to peer at shapes that shift and hide / where it’s too dark to see.” The pictures and text follow her as she wends over hill and hollow, breaking into song to keep the specters at bay and stave off cold. The tingly spookiness of the rural dark is slowly, gently beveled as the story takes on the dawn, as the girl passes a farm getting its day under way in the early hours, the lights of the bus cutting through the remnants of night. Night can be a very alien world, but this beckoning book is like an invitation to come walk there. (Picture book. 4-8

About the Author

  Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-94), was a Scottish novelist, essayist and poet who contributed several classics to the world of children’s literature. He is best known for A Children's Garden of Verses, Treasure Island, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and Kidnapped.

Julie Morstad is an award-winning illustrator and fine artist known for her surreal, whimsical work. Illustrator of numerous children’s books, including Singing Away the Dark and When You Were Small and its two sequels Where You Came From and When I Was Small, Julie has exhibited her work in galleries, animated two music videos with her brother, filled up stacks of sketchbooks, and made countless pots of soup and many loaves of bread. She lives in Vancouver with her family.

 

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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See all 14 customer reviews
It is just the right length for a toddler!
Juliasmom
It has a really sweet rhyme that is easy to memorize and lovely illustrations.
ATMomma
I highly recommend this book for young children.
dani_79

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By E. R. Bird HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on November 7, 2012
Format: Board book
There comes a moment in a new parent's life when they realize that they have become their own parents. It's different for everyone. For some folks it won't happen until they're berating their teenagers, conjuring up terms and threats from their own youth that they swore they'd never use. For others, it happens at practically the moment after conception. And for me, it happened when I read my one-year-old daughter Julie Morstad's simply irresistible adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson's classic poem The Swing. As I read the book aloud I realized that I had heard this poem myself as a child. I could even recall the images that accompanied it, filled with sickly sweet children with cheeks so large they'd make the Campbell Soup kids seem wan in comparison. And when later I heard my own mother recite this poem I was amazed to discover that my reading, which I'd done several time for my own daughter, contained the exact same cadences and turns of phrase as my mother's rendition. The difference for my daughter will be the fact that while the art accompanying my The Swing was tepid, the images that appear in Julie Morstad's gorgeous little board book are utterly lovely creations. For all those parents desperate to introduce their toddlers to poetry, or just folks who want to read their kids something beautiful for once, here is the answer to your prayers.

"How do you like to go up in a swing / Up in the air so blue?" I should think you'd like it very much if you were one of the children in Julie Morstad's clever little book. Adapting Robert Louis Stevenson's words, Ms. Morstad fills her pages with kids on their way up, their way down, and everywhere in-between. They glide under cherry blossoms, observe the even rows of plants and vegetables, and swing like superheroes on their bellies.
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By Jetts on May 27, 2014
Format: Board book Verified Purchase
A great book for your child to remember how sweet it is to swing. Simple, and so sweet. I wrote the date in which my sweetie learned to swing and wrote a note to her on the back.
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This is a telling of Robert Louis Stevenson's poem. It's beautiful, but I'm not sure how appealing it is to baby's with the dark colors.
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By Little sister on February 27, 2014
Format: Board book Verified Purchase
Couldn't wait to re read it. I read this as a small child and never forgot it...Will give it to my Granddaughter
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My sixteen month old wants to read this every night at bedtime—multiple times! The Robert Louis Stevenson poem is short and sweet and with just enough rhyme to keep my toddler engaged. Julie Morstad's illustrations are, as always, lovely!
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By ATMomma on January 28, 2014
Format: Board book Verified Purchase
This is one of my favorite books that I have for my son. It has a really sweet rhyme that is easy to memorize and lovely illustrations.
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By Joy S on January 10, 2014
Format: Board book Verified Purchase
How nice to have a setting of a Stevenson poem. The artwork is wonderful. It is perfect for a really young child because the pages are cardboard.
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