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How To Live Forever (Red Fox Picture Books) Paperback – International Edition, January 25, 2005

4.8 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Libraries will never look the same now that Thompson (Ruby; The Paper Bag Prince) has gotten ahold of them. Readers of his new picture book are plunged into a realm of boundless imagination, a library where, after hours, the shelves come to life. Rows of books become rows of townhouses with cozily lit windows, and walkways through the stacks become canals full of bustling traffic. The story centers on Peter, whose home is a cookbook, and who is searching high and low for a missing tome entitled "How to Live Forever." He eventually finds it, of course, but after considering the advice of an odd creature called the Ancient Child, decides not to read it. The plot is almost beside the point?what fascinates is the quirky, highly precise world Thompson has created. His art is exquisitely detailed, full of wry embellishments that beg for extended viewing. Many of the visual puns are too sophisticated for younger readers but will delight adults. When Peter visits a Chinese garden, for instance, a turn of the page moves him from full-color environs to the cool blue-and-white of the classic Blue Willow china pattern. And a shelf devoted to food contains such sly titles as "The Guns of Macaroni," while the automotive section sports "Kind Hearts and Cadillacs." A multilayered book that excites interest on several levels, it issues an open invitation to a world readers will want to visit again and again. All ages.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

Grade 1-4?This story about a library that comes alive after hours doesn't quite meet its promising premise. Young Peter, a cookbook resident, discovers a card for the title How to Live Forever. He is determined to find the long-lost volume and its secret of immortality. His two-year search takes him through many tomes and the secret worlds they contain. Finally, Peter meets the Ancient Child, who warns him not to read the book, for "To live forever is to not live at all." Most children won't understand the adult message, and some young readers may not be able to follow the twists and turns of Peter's long, mystical journey. Certainly, the idea of a library coming to life will entice young readers, as will the unique pen-and-ink illustrations. Colorful pictures of the library's other world are filled with detailed images of castles, streets, and villages built of, on, and around books. There is much here for the eye to explore. Unfortunately, the illustrations are not enough to sustain the confusing, ephemeral text.?Heide Piehler, Shorewood Public Library, WI
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Series: Red Fox Picture Books
  • Paperback: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Red Fox (January 25, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099461811
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099461814
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 0.2 x 11.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,871,897 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Pop Bop TOP 500 REVIEWER on December 18, 2015
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Many people come to Colin Thompson by way of his wildly popular work for the Ravensburger jigsaw puzzle company in Germany. Some of Ravensburger's most popular 1,000 piece puzzles have been illustrated by Thompson as part of his "Cupboard" series of drawings. When people search for "Colin Thompson puzzles", sometimes, if they are lucky, they turn up Colin Thompson books.

The Thompson books are built around illustrations drawn in a similar style, although the ones here seem grander and more expansive. They feature full two page spread drawings; at least in hardback that makes each drawing about 11 by 17 inches. They are loaded with the same dense, busy, inventive, bizarre, and amusing bits as are the puzzle illustrations.

That said, sometimes Thompson books are carried entirely by the drawings, with just a minimal storyline to tie them together. Sometimes the point of the story is hard to decipher. Not so here. This book has a strong narrative - our hero is searching for the one book that teaches a person how to live forever, and, when he finds it, our hero has to decide whether to read it. The knowledge it contains has serious and life altering consequences. This is heady stuff, but it is handled gently and in a thought provoking manner.

This struck me as mostly a sit-and-look-at book. You could read it out loud, but without the illustrations the actual narrative lacks punch. However, as a sit together on the sofa and look at the drawings book, well, this is just superb. There are literally hours of looking built into the pages, and you could go through the book over and over again without exhausting its appeal.
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Format: Paperback
I found this book by chance when I was in about 3rd grade at the local library and it has always stuck out in my mind. The illustrations are beautiful and the story was very interesting. I know I'll give it to my children when I have my own and everyone should do the same.
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By A Customer on November 10, 1997
Format: Hardcover
Thank you Mr Thompson; you have provided delight to a 45 year old child. Your book makes me wonder ... "Do I read too much?" Maybe I should choose what I read with more care.
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Format: Hardcover
My son (8 years old) and I found this amazing book at our Public Library. He was so delighted with the illustrations that he sat himself right down with the book and was completely enthralled...until he came to the page where the illustration of the "Ancient Child" appears. He was so completely shocked by it
that he didn't want to check to book out to take home! (and he isn't a child that scares easily). So use a little bit of caution when reading this to your young ones. As for older children and, of course, the children who happen to be parents as well, this book is just incredible.
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Format: Hardcover
I chose this book because of its illustrations -- Colin Thompson has come up with some very vivid and tantalizing illustrations that gave the work life. While the idea on living forever is clear through the pictures, I feel that the text could have supported the story's development and message better, especially towards the end. Overall, a fulfilling look-see. A must-buy for book-lovers.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Colin Thompson demonstrates thru his artistry & messages that adults
do not have to be boring...as so many are "How to Live Forever" is a visual & verbal
journey of the mind to return the mystical to everyday life The reading of Colin's books
is a deep, intense, pleasurable experience that no manic paced video game could ever
possibly match His books are a way thru the Labyrinth. minding the Light karen
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