- Age Range: 3 - 7 years
- Grade Level: Preschool - 2
- Paperback: 32 pages
- Publisher: Dragonfly Books; 1 edition (July 13, 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0553113240
- ISBN-13: 978-0553113242
- Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 0.2 x 11.7 inches
- Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 16 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,056,705 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Halibut Jackson Paperback – July 13, 2010
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Quirky, sweet, and brilliantly illustrated, David Lucas' Halibut Jackson, has the makings of an instant classic. Parents and kids alike will love little Halibut with his penchant for wide brimmed hats and capes (ala Madeline) from the start--they just have to find him first.
Halibut Jackson is shy. He wants nothing more than to blend into the background--any background. In order to stay undercover, Halibut makes his own suits out of fabrics with convenient patterns: he saves the brick wall pattern for when he goes into town, the flower pattern for the park, and the book pattern for the library. So, when Queen invites Halibut to the Palace for a party, it is only natural for him to fashion an ornate and glittering suit to blend in with the Palace walls. Imagine his surprise when he realizes (too late) that it is a garden party!
Lucas balances the beautifully busy pages with simple, repetitive text complete with italics to help parents find the right tone: "Halibut Jackson was shy. Halibut Jackson didn't like to be noticed. Halibut Jackson liked to blend into the background." Parents will love Halibut Jackson for the art (each glorious spread is worthy of framing), and kids will not only identify with Halibut's shyness, but they'll be delighted to join the game of locating Halibut on each page. An artsy Where's Waldo for toddlers, Lucas' debut as author and illustrator has bright and playful watercolor illustrations that spill over the pages, encouraging kids to pore over every detail. With story and design elements reminiscent of Madeline and Curious George, Halibut Jackson promises to soon occupy happy children's bookshelves everywhere. Let's just hope that Lucas and Jackson are ready for all the attention. (Ages 4 to 9) --Daphne Durham --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From School Library Journal
PreSchool-Grade 3--Halibut Jackson is so shy he hardly goes out at all, but when he does, he wears a suit that serves as camouflage. His garden outfit is grass green and adorned with flowers. His food-shopping attire sports bright-red apples. His library ensemble displays books on shelves. When he receives an invitation to a birthday party at the palace, he makes a suit of "silver and gold, covered with jewels," hoping to blend in with the palace itself. The party, however, is in the garden, and Halibut Jackson definitely stands out from the other guests--and is admired rather than ridiculed. So many suit orders pour in that he soon gathers enough courage to open his own clothing shop. The text is brief, with just the right amount of repetition. The large, busy watercolor illustrations, many of them spreads, are executed in a pastel palette and abound in curlicues and swirled shapes. There are many comical touches in these cartoon renderings: someone dressed as an apple handing out notices in the food market; Halibut Jones at home, wearing a suit made of the same material as the chair in which he sits facing a picture of himself with his hands covering his face; and people wearing unusual hats and outfits. Pair this offering with Rosemary Wells's Shy Charles (Dial, 1988) to encourage young wallflowers to bloom.--Marianne Saccardi, Norwalk Community College, CT
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top customer reviews
Halibut Jackson didn't like being noticed.
Halibut Jackson liked to blend into the background.
But one day he made a mistake, he was noticed-
and his life changed forever. "
Halibut styles his clothing so he will blend in with his surroundings, kind of like a chameleon does. He does not want people to notice him but is happiest when he can go on about his business anonymously. One day he receives a party invitation in the mail from the Queen inviting him to her big birthday bash at the palace. Halibut is very flattered by the invite but unsure if he should take it in. How in the world can he blend in to such opulence? He is moved so much that he has to search deep inside himself to see if he really could attend and overcome his shyness or should he pass because he would be too shy to step out and party with royalty. He did take that bold step after dreaming of creating a rich, silver and gold suit that he made into a reality. The suit is magnificent and blends perfectly with the luxuriousness of the palace setting, or is that the correct setting he should be focusing on? What happens to him at that party changes his life forever. Not only does he attend the party of the Queen but he becomes the star of the party, overshadowing even her Majesty, herself. He comes away from the celebration with a great feeling of self-confidence and with many new found friends. They inspire him to explore and exhibit the amazing talent that he possesses within himself. With much success in in his life now his shyness fades into oblivion.
The illustrations are whimsical and magical done in pen and ink with watercolours. Each page is packed with people, curlicues, domes, geometric shapes and fantastic details that keep you coming back again and again to find something new tucked in them The feel is vintage and the clothes retro-inspired. The simple text is written in third person with short repetitive sentences with important words highlighted in italics or capitals.
This book was published in 2003 and was chosen as Amazon.com's favourite children's book of 2004. It was also selected as Best Children's Book of 2004 in both Publisher's Weekly and Child Magazine.
On the next few pages, we see him in a garden-patterned shirt and hat that perfectly matches the flowers in the park. Again, the other objects in the scene are both intriguing and function as distracters in the reader's effort to find Halibut: There's an odd tree with gigantic peanuts, a pineapple plant, and assorted birds, mushrooms, and flowers. Watch for Jackson's environment matching suits in a grocery store, a library (an especially tough one), and his house (which shows a photo of Jackson covering his eyes!).
One day, he receives an invitation to attend the Queen's birthday party. Although he longs to see the Palace, he doesn't want to go to a grand gathering. However, "that night he dreamed of the Palace. HE dreamed of glittering towers, of silver stairs, of a golden door...And when he woke, he had an idea." Halibut Jackson, believing that the fete will be held inside the ornate periwinkle and gold castle interior, creates a suit to match, right down to the jewels on a crown like hat. In yet another magical picture, Halibut is shown amongst musicians, dancers, a peacock, and elaborate decorations-outside the castle! "Everybody noticed Halibut Jackson." But Jackson learns that being noticed isn't always bad, even when you're completely different from the rest of the guests. The happy conclusion features yet more clever pictures and costumes, and when I finished the book, I realized this was among the most original picture books I've recently seen.
It takes great talent to pull off a relatively simple (though satisfying) story mostly through illustrations, but Lucas completely triumphs. His pictures have a definite Matisse influence, and the low-tech production indeed recalls picture books of 50 years ago (thin non-glossy paper, no computer-aided drawing, colors right out of a crayon box). A complete joy to behold, this book is an inspiration for budding artists, a fun "search" book, and a lightly told message all in one. Very highly recommended!