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Great Joy Hardcover – Picture Book, October 9, 2007
"A Plump and Perky Turkey" by Teresa Bateman
A witty and rhyming picture book about a clever turkey. | Learn more
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—School Library Journal (starred review)
Ibatoulline’s evocative artwork moves [the story] to a higher level. The setting is the 1940s, and the art captures the time beautifully.
—Booklist (starred review)
This simple but powerful story will indeed bring the reader great joy.
—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
Newbury Medalist DiCamillo spins a tale of compassion and holiday warmth.
—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
Yet another wonderful tale from the award-winning author that is beautifully depicted by Ibatoulline.
—Library Media Connection, Highly Recommended
Bagram Ibatoulline's illustrations are all about the contrast between warmer, golden interiors and the cold purplish blue of winter's twilight. Frances acts in a way that lets her feel joy from within.
Newbery medalist Kate DiCamillo’s heart-warming prose is gorgeously complimented by Bagram Ibatoulline’s inspiring illustrations…overlaid with a hazy glow of wonder.
—National Center for the Study of Children’s Literature
The fabulous duo of DiCamillo and Ibatoulline, who gave us the beautiful Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane last year, has teamed up for a picture book that could become a holiday classic.
—Kansas City Star
It's a simple story with a simple ending, but it focuses on what the season is supposed to be about: giving to others and opening up your heart.
A gorgeous volume with illustrations by Bagram Ibatoulline, Great Joy is about the difference between marking Christmas and understanding its meaning.
There's genuine warmth to the satisfying Christmas pageant climax, which resonates like a favorite carol — the kind that makes you cry.
—Minneapolis Star Tribune
The atmospheric art contrasts the chill of the weather and warm glow of the climactic welcoming celebration.
—San Francisco Chronicle
The best yule book of 2007…would revive anyone's Christmas spirit after a day spent enveloped in a swirl of mall Muzak and shoppers' elbows.
—Tacoma News Tribune
An inspiring story of Christmas kindness…Luminous paintings capture the story's depth and light.
—Grand Rapids Press
[A] touching story of good will toward all…Bagram Ibatoulline's subtle illustrations convey the true spirit of the season.
—Literary Features Syndicate
Spare, loving prose and luminous acrylic illustrations make each full-page spread a heartfelt joy. Read this giving tale aloud to your loved ones this season.
—Copley News Service
Unparalleled in its simplicity of words and its ethereal illustrations.
—The Asheville Citizen-Times
This magnificently illustrated, heartwarming book is a different kind of holiday tale, one that addresses the true meaning of Christmas.
Luminous illustrations by Bagram Ibatoulline accentuate the power of random acts of kindness.
A beautiful book from a very special storyteller. You’ll want to add this to your family’s collection.
Heart-warming prose is gorgeously complemented by…inspiring illustrations…overlaid with a hazy glow of wonder.
—National Center for the Study of Children’s Literature
About the Author
Bagram Ibatoulline is the illustrator of The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane, as well as The Serpent Came to Gloucester by M. T. Anderson, Hana in the Time of the Tulips by Deborah Noyes, The Animal Hedge by Paul Fleischman, The Nightingale retold by Stephen Mitchell, and Crossing by Philip Booth. He lives in Gouldsboro, Pennsylvania.
- Lexile measure : AD680L
- Item Weight : 1.2 pounds
- Grade level : Preschool - 3
- Hardcover : 32 pages
- ISBN-13 : 978-0763629205
- ISBN-10 : 0763629205
- Dimensions : 10.13 x 0.4 x 11.63 inches
- Publisher : Candlewick; First Edition first Printing (October 9, 2007)
- Language: : English
- ASIN : 0763629200
- Reading level : 4 - 8 years
- Best Sellers Rank: #221,861 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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One note - I'm not sure why it's called a "midi" edition. I believe this might be better stated "mini" edition. The pages are about 6" x 8", but it's still adequately large to enjoy.
From an apartment window above the street level, a little girl named Frances would watch the man and his monkey, both during the day and the night. Frances became concerned about the man and his monkey and what happens to them at night. Now Frances' mother was sewing her a robe for the church pageant; she was going to be an angel.
That night, Frances made herself stay awake because she wanted to see if the old man and his monkey were still out on the street corner so late at night. Yes, she saw them, and called to them; the old man waved his hat to her.
Well, the next morning, Frances told her Mother that they sleep on the street, even in the snow. She even wanted to invite them for dinner, but her Mother said they couldn't because they were strangers. Frances and her Mother, dressed in their winter coats and boots, walked in the snow. Frances saw that the man and the monkey were still on the street corner; she placed a coin in the monkey's cup, and invited the man to the Christmas play, that night. She explained that she was in the Christmas play at the church. She even asked him if he wanted to hear her one line in the play. Before he could say anything, Frances' Mother hurried her on so they wouldn't be late. Frances could see the sad eyes on the man's face. He just smiled at her.
By the time Frances had put on her wings and halo, it was her turn to speak. The other characters waited, but Frances couldn't speak. All she could think of was how cold it was outside for the man and his monkey; she remembered how sad the man looked. All of a sudden, at the back of the church, the door opened; in came the man and his monkey, and in the midst of the quiet church, Frances smiled and shouted, "Behold! I bring you tidings of Great Joy!" The man walked in with the monkey. More than that, he spent time with the people in the church. Frances had made one person's world better that night by showing that she cared.
The artist, Bagram Ibatoulline, an acclaimed Russian artist, noted for illustrating children's picture books, used the acrylic gouache method, which is the mixing of glue with the paint. As you browse through this very simple book, you will notice the small details in the artist's brushstrokes; these illustrations compliment the author's text. The drawings look a bit like those of the renown Norman Rockwell, though these illustrations have a softness that Rockwell's artwork don't have. Some of the illustrations remind me of sepia photographs, with a bit of infused color. This book carries a powerful message of compassion in the child's heart.
Top reviews from other countries
The illustrations are gloriously traditional without being twee (in fact, the reminded me of Shirley Hughes most).
The text refers to a nativity play but not to the Christian story itself, so would be suitable for all but the most religious and most anti-religious families.
Recommended for primary-school children aged approximately 5 to 7.