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The Grey Lady and the Strawberry Snatcher Paperback – May 1, 1996

4.4 out of 5 stars 54 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

A grandmotherly woman, depicted mostly in negative space, outwits a persistent blue imp. PW described the Caldecott Honor book as "extraordinary.... [The] illustrations are unparalleled in effects." Ages 4-8.
- illustrations are unparalleled in effects." Ages 4-8.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Review

Publishers Weekly The award-winning artist has conceived and realized an extraordinary picture book. Bang's illustrations are unparalleled in effects, full-color paintings and collages in which the surrealistic and the representational combine to tell a story without words.

ALA Booklist This wordless picture book depends on eerie art and high drama for holding its scrutinizers, and they will be held.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 5 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Kindergarten - 3
  • Paperback: 48 pages
  • Publisher: Aladdin; Reprint edition (May 1, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0689803818
  • ISBN-13: 978-0689803819
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 0.2 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (54 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #621,240 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
The illustrations in this book are wonderfully imaginative, detailed, and evocative. I enjoy the fact that there are no words which I think makes the sharing of the book with my daughter a more creative and interactive experience for the two of us. In other words, we tell the story together from night to night, and we are always discovering new elements. I delight at her discoveries from the illustrations, e.g. the green thumb on the produce man, the penguin in the shop window, the silly, satisfied grin on the strawberry snatcher as he/she swings down from a tree on a vine. There are seemingly endless possibilities for discovering and creating stories here.
The characters in the book reflect people of different races/cultures in the most subtle ways which I appreciate for my daughter because, in fact, it reflects the world we live in, and makes the book less mono-dimensional.
I have wondered if my daughter might find the story frightening, as the strawberry snatcher follows the grey lady from town and through the woods attempting to "snatch" her strawberries. If you pay close attention to the facial expressions on the characters faces, you get everything. The grey lady is contented at first with her bag of strawberries and rubs her tummy in anticipation of eating them. Then the suspense builds as she becomes aware she's being followed. She evades the snatcher, then is found, then evades again, then is found again. My child sees it as a game of hide and seek. The end is a happy resolution for both.
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Format: Hardcover
This is perhaps the most unusual, beautiful, elegant, and enigmatic wordless children's book ever made. It it an allegory about life, death, persistence, wisdom, love and transformation, at least to my eyes. My children have loved it, been scared by it, and laughed with it. It is a book that joins the ordinary world and the archetypal.
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Format: Paperback
A 4 year old friend of my daughter gave this book to her on her second birthday. As I "read" the book to my daughter the first time, I thought that it was too scary for a 2 year old and worried how I would explain what the strawberry snatcher was doing or what was happening in the eerie-looking swamp. To my suprise, she only said "turn pages again" when we finished, and asked me to "read" the book 4 more times in a row. She still likes it, and now I do too.
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Format: Paperback
This mysterious wordless book is a visual feast beginning with a visit to a fruit vendor. His baskets of cherries, plums, and strawberries entice the reader from the cover. An elderly gray haired woman in a gray dress beams as the vendor hands her a luscious basket filled with plump strawberries. She places it in her net bag and smiling contentedly leaves the vendor's shop. As she goes we see a mysterious figure peer around the corner. He has blue skin, long skinny limbs, fingers and toes and sports a wide-brimmed purple hat. As he follows the Grey Lady mushrooms sprout where his feet step. The Lady and the Snatcher move through a richly detailed street scene with elaborate window displays. Suddenly, a woman in an Asian goddess's flowing robes bearing a basket filled with eels skateboards into the Strawberry Snatcher. The Gray Lady escapes by catching a bus to her home in the swamp. Snatcher follows close behind on the skateboard and we see them play hide and seek among the trees. The Gray Lady skillfully blends into patches of gray in the landscape. Finally, Snatcher discovers a brambly hedge bearing lots of colorful ripe plump berries and he stops to feast. The Gray Lady then reaches home where everyone has a touch of Gray in hair or clothing or both. We witness a strawberry celebration among the Gray family while she hands a bowl of berries to a young boy who bears a remarkable resemblance to the Strawberry Snatcher. Could they be related? Intriguing plot and engaging illustration make this a delightful story to be recreated again and again within the viewer's imagination.
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Format: Paperback
A story for children told without words about an elderly lady dressed in grey who buys strawberrys and is followed by a being who attempts to steal the strawberrys from her. She walks into the woods and is able to elude her the"Snatcher." Most children will enjoy following the story and supplement the story with their own words. They will also enjoy seeing how color and camouflage works. The book was a 1981 Caldecott Honor book (i.e., a runner-up to the Medal winner) for best illustrations in a book for children.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I thought that this was a creepy looking book when I bought it. But since I had it, I decided to let my kiddos look at it and see if they liked it. They Did!!
My three year old, who wants to read, had no problem 'reading' this story and finding out all sorts of interesting aspects to the pictures as he read the book.
My son has bullied his little sister into helping him act out this little book. He has 'read' it to me many times over. He has enjoyed this book and so has my daughter.
I rated it a four because, as I said, I found the pictures just a bit creepy when we first got the book. But it is well enjoyed by children, so I'd certainly buy it again.
Enjoy.
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