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Bad Day at Riverbend Hardcover – Picture Book, October 30, 1995

4.8 out of 5 stars 42 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Van Allsburg cuts loose with this inventive spoof that will keep readers guessing right up to the end. Riverbend is "the kind of place where one day was just like the rest," and it looks it, too-a simple collection of block houses and buildings outlined in black and white. Color soon appears on the scene, however, in the form of scribbles-"great stripes of some kind of shiny, greasy slime"-that puzzle and alarm the residents of Riverbend. Sheriff Ned Hardy aims to put an end to the mystery, and rides out with a posse in search of the answer. Turns out he and his townsfolk are actually trapped in a coloring book, a fact readers discover as the point of view shifts, pulls back and reveals a crayon-wielding hand coloring the pages with glee. Van Allsburg clearly had fun with this one, and readers likely will too. All ages.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

Kindergarten-Grade 3?In this fantastical Wild West story set in an actual coloring book, the "quiet little town" of Riverbend is mysteriously invaded by a slimy substance?crayon marks from a child's scribbles?that has the effect of stunning and paralyzing people and animals. Sheriff Ned Hardy and his men set out to get to the bottom of what has been terrorizing the town. In the end, they, too, are stopped in their tracks by the waxy slime as a child, armed with a full range of crayolas, is shown coloring in the last page of her "Cowboy Coloring Book." The illustrations of the town that readers see in the first pages are, appropriately, clean black-line drawings?not the rich, multidimensional illustrations usually associated with Van Allsburg's work. Like Jumanji (1981) and Ben's Dream (1982, both Houghton), this book's creative plot steps beyond the boundaries of reality, and because of its spare, coloring-book context, the artwork must also go beyond the artist's typical style. Larger collections will want to keep up with Van Allsburg's innovativeness, but this effort is pretty much a one-trick pony that most libraries can easily skip.?Christina Linz, Alachua County Library District, Gainesville, FL
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Product details

  • Lexile Measure : AD750L
  • Item Weight : 15 ounces
  • Grade Level : Preschool - 3
  • Hardcover : 32 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 039567347X
  • ISBN-13 : 978-0395673478
  • Product Dimensions : 8.5 x 0.44 x 11 inches
  • Publisher : HMH Books for Young Readers; Library Binding Edition (October 30, 1995)
  • Language: : English
  • Reading level : 4 - 7 years
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.8 out of 5 stars 42 ratings

Customer reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5
42 global ratings
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