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Lynda Preston's Profile

Customer Reviews: 9
Top Reviewer Ranking: 25,926,275
Helpful Votes: 19

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Agnes the Sheep
Agnes the Sheep
by William Taylor
Edition: Paperback
49 used & new from $0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars A funny book, December 30, 2002
This review is from: Agnes the Sheep (Paperback)
Belinda and Joe, two feuding classmates, become unlikely allies when they are named caretakers of a sheep. Not just any sheep, but a hulking, obstinate sheep named Agnes. It all begins when they are assigned to visit a local "pioneer." Bored at first with the assignment, they soon find that the life of Mrs. Carpenter was anything but ordinary. In the often-humorous episodes that follow, everyone learns a little about life.
This 1991 Esther Glen Award winner alternates between pleasant and disturbing events to keep the reader guessing. Just when the book is almost finished, the author adds some surprises to the ending. The fate of Agnes might be unsettling to people (especially children) who love animals, but the book overall is enjoyable.

Ghost Train
Ghost Train
by Paul Yee
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $14.21
56 used & new from $0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars A powerful, touching tale, December 30, 2002
This review is from: Ghost Train (Hardcover)
Could things get any worse for Choon-yi, born with only one arm in a poor peasant family in China? She makes the best of the situation by creating and selling paintings. She is rightfully concerned when her beloved father accepts a perilous job building railroads in America. When she travels to see him, she endures heartbreak before discovering that her magical talent can help her father and many others.
The beautiful oil paintings have a gloomy dark brown tint that adds to the melancholy mood of the text. This winner of the 1997 Amelia Frances Howard-Gibbon Medal effectively uses the subdued pictures to compliment the text. I found this to be a powerful book, even though it is written and illustrated with a gentle touch.

The Watertower
The Watertower
by Gary Crew
Edition: Hardcover
28 used & new from $0.01

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Eerie but fun, December 30, 2002
This review is from: The Watertower (Hardcover)
This eerie tale will keep the reader intrigued long after finishing the book. In the town of Preston, an old rusting water tower stands on the edge of a hill. Two boys decide to go inside for a swim on a sweltering summer day. What happens inside is a mystery, but one of the boys is forever changed.

This 1995 Australian Picture Book of the Year winner uses the contrast between colorful illustrations and black background to great effect. In a twist on the usual picture book, the illustrations tell the real story, while the text provides the background information.
What a great puzzle. This is the kind of book that I could not stop thinking about, even long after I read it. This is an engaging book for adults as well as for children.

When Jessie Came Across the Sea
When Jessie Came Across the Sea
by Amy Hest
Edition: Hardcover
144 used & new from $0.01

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A beautiful, touching story, December 30, 2002
Even though it breaks her heart to be separated from her beloved grandmother, Jessie leaves her small town when she is offered a trip to America. She vividly describes the wonder of living in the new world and finding a new love. She works hard and uses her sewing skills to save toward purchasing a ticket for her grandmother.
This 1998 Kate Greenaway award winner uses lush paintings to portray a realistic setting of the story. The illustrations complement the story, but they are so beautiful that they almost overwhelm the story.
I enjoyed this beautiful story and its beautiful illustrations. Though at times heartbreaking, the story of Jessie and her trip across the sea to America is very inspirational.

Snapshots From The Wedding (Turtleback School & Library Binding Edition)
Snapshots From The Wedding (Turtleback School & Library Binding Edition)
by Gary Soto
Edition: School & Library Binding
9 used & new from $8.45

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fun point of view, December 30, 2002
Flower girl Maya tells the story of her cousin's wedding in vivid detail. She shares her often silly, but always observant tale of the event from a child's point of view. From the groom's broken arm to crying babies, she leaves little to the imagination.
Stephanie Garcia, illustrator of this 1998 Pura Belpre Award winner, uses a unique but effective approach by using photographs of three-dimensional picture boxes to convey the story. The boxes contain realistic clay figures and a collage of items from the wedding. The text and pictures are integrally tied, and the text often cleverly prompts the reader to look at something in the illustration.
This is such a fun book that it needs to be read several times to properly enjoy it. The writer is definitely in tune with a child's point of view.

Minty: A Story of Young Harriet Tubman
Minty: A Story of Young Harriet Tubman
by Alan Schroeder
Edition: Hardcover
81 used & new from $0.01

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A powerful book, December 30, 2002
Eight-year-old "Minty," a fictionalized version of a young Harriet Tubman, suffers greatly while working as a slave on a Maryland plantation. Her rebellious nature adds an extra degree of conflict, and she has several traumatic experiences. With the guidance of her father, she starts planning to escape.
Scenes of Minty with her family are very tenderly rendered in this 1997 Coretta Scott King Award winner. Illustrator Jerry Pinkney effectively combines pencils and watercolors to add an appropriately subdued, somewhat dreary cast even to bright, sunny scenes. The strong text describes the horrors of scenes too disturbing to show in the illustrations.
The story really tugged at my heartstrings. It is a very moving story, well told, but still very sad.

Adventures of Sparrow Boy
Adventures of Sparrow Boy

5.0 out of 5 stars Be careful what you wish for..., December 27, 2002
An ordinary paperboy named Henry has a very extraordinary day. It all begins when he wishes for the help of the comic superhero "Falconman." After an encounter with a mysterious sparrow his wish comes true, but with a twist. He finds himself in the center of the action.

Scratchboard illustrations add an interesting textural element. This 1997 Boston Globe Horn Book Award winner uses a colorful comic-book style to engage the reader's interest. The text compliments the pictures well, although the pictures could tell the story by themselves.
This book really captured my attention, so much that I was disappointed when it ended. However, I felt that the book ended with the perfect open-ended conclusion.

Snowflake Bentley (Caldecott Medal Book)
Snowflake Bentley (Caldecott Medal Book)
by Jacqueline Briggs Martin
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $14.05
160 used & new from $1.44

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An endearing true story, December 27, 2002
The inspiring true story of photographer and self-made scientist Wilson "Snowflake" Bentley proves that anyone can achieve their dream. Born of humble means on a Vermont farm in 1865, Bentley was fascinated with weather and devoted his life to studying snow crystals. With the aid of his parents, who sacrificed their life's savings so he could buy the proper equipment, Bentley created photographs that provided the world with invaluable insight into snow crystals.

Mary Azarian illustrates this charmer with warm, hand-colored woodcuts that create an appropriately old-fashioned feel. The simple main text of this 1999 Caldecott Medal winner flows well with the charming illustrations. Sidebars on each page add additional details that maintain interest for older readers and allow the main text to remain focused on the story.
I found this very inspirational and a joy to read. My only complaint is the dearth of actual photographs by Bentley. The entire book builds interest in the photographs, but only three tiny copies of the actual photographs are shown on the last page.

The Giver (Giver Quartet)
The Giver (Giver Quartet)
by Lois Lowry
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
290 used & new from $0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars A moving, timely book, December 27, 2002
Jonas lives in the ideal community, or so it seems. Everyone seems so content and safe. Doors are left unlocked, even during the night. However, Jonas soon finds out that there are sinister secrets lurking behind the pleasant veneer of his community. Can he save himself before it is too late?
The winner of numerous awards, including the 1994 Newbery Medal, this book expertly draws in the reader. Author Lois Lowry sprinkles forboding hints throughout the story as more and more clues are doled out. This thought-provoking book leaves the reader speculating the outcome even after the ending.
This is the kind of book that I could read again and again and never forget. It also contains an important lesson to society - security comes with a price.

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