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13 Words Hardcover – October 5, 2010
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A Look Inside 13 Words
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|Mezzo-Soprano||Vanilla cake with chocolate icing and candles|
From Publishers Weekly
Based on an unlucky number of key words and authored by someone who takes pleasure in unfortunate events, this volume conjures a sense of foreboding. "Word Number 1: Bird" introduces the central character, and the accompanying illustration pictures a royal-blue bird perched on a linen tablecloth, in a yellow-and-pink dining room that might have been painted by Matisse. The bird's eye droops sadly, whereupon readers turn to "Word Number 2: Despondent" and "Word Number 3: Cake," an item that might alleviate a bird's ennui, at least temporarily. Despite ominous beginnings, the proceedings turn upbeat with the arrival of a chic "Word Number 4: Dog," who concocts witty diversions for the gloomy bird. Kalman's eccentric gouaches elevate the wintry mood; the dog, with his sly grin, resembles Kalman's Max, particularly when he tries on hats at "Word Number 9: Haberdashery." Sprinkled with additional vocab words like "spiffy" and featuring surreal landscapes in ice-cream hues, this word-association game recalls Kalman's solo productions. The conclusion, however, belongs to Snicket, because "the bird, to tell you the truth, is still a little despondent." All ages. (Oct.)
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Top Customer Reviews
13 words is not the usual picture-book, but definitely reflects how they should be. A challenging read for kids, but definitely a fun ride and a great learning device as well.
Anyway, I'm all for books that are weird and wonderful and seem sort of hard to "get," but still leave you with a sense of happiness and wonderment. This one didn't seem to do it upon first reading, but I will give it the benefit of the doubt and read through it with the kids again. Oh, the kids... they didn't seem to mind that it didn't make any sense, and they actually liked some of the 13 words. So three stars for a solid "I can't make up my mind" vote.
I gave this book 4 stars instead of 5 only because it is not quite as wonderful as Mr. Snicket's "The Lump of Coal," which quickly became one of our family's favorite books ever.
Reading the other reviews, it is apparent that if you don't like this book, you REALLY don't like it. But it is sad to see librarians deciding they don't like it, therefore it has no merit and they won't acquire it. It does not appeal to all tastes, and some children may be indifferent to it (nothing wrong with that), but others will love it, and should have the chance to see it.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
In first reading this book, it seemed like just a strange, quirky story, but once I read it a few times, there was really so...Read more