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Condition: Used: Good
Comment: Used condition with normal wear. May be ex-library and may have some markings or highlighting. Ancillary materials may not be included (such as CD-ROMs or online access codes with textbooks).
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Jemmy Button Hardcover – March 26, 2013

4.0 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 1-3-This picture book is based on the true story of Orundellico, a boy from Tierra del Fuego who was taken to Victorian England by a British sea captain. The captain gave the child's family a mother-of-pearl button in exchange for him, hence his nickname, "Jemmy Button." The boy experienced the music, food, and education of England, but realized where he belonged when he returned home. These historical details are related via an endnote, but the story itself wisely focuses on the emotions and sensory experiences of Orundellico's journey. From the cover where he peeks out through lush greenery, to the vast visions of the night sky over the island, illustrations of Orundellico's home pop with color. The scenes in England, in contrast, feature muted tones, with people who appear only as silhouettes, emphasizing the boy's sense of displacement. This treatment brings the story home for young readers and provides an excellent discussion-starter.-Kathleen Kelly MacMillan, Carroll County Public Library, MDα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist

At the beginning of this title, a boy sits on the highest branch of a jungle, gazing up at the moon in a cloudless sky. Close to the end, the boy sits atop the highest roof in the city, gazing at a sky clogged with thick clouds that resemble a choking smog. These evocative bookends deepen the nuance of a tale inspired by the true story of Orundellico, a boy traded for a button and taken from his home in Tierra del Fuego in the early nineteenth century. Delivered to Victorian England, he became a celebrity in demand by no less than the royal family before his eventual return to his homeland. Sparing most of these details, which are explained in two short appended paragraphs, the story is told in an ingenuous style that is powerfully enhanced by the impressionistic art, replete with obscured adult figures and a melancholy tone. An unusual read-aloud is also a complex, unique offering for independent readers. Grades 1-3. --Jesse Karp
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 6 and up
  • Grade Level: Kindergarten - 12
  • Hardcover: 48 pages
  • Publisher: Templar; First Edition edition (March 26, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0763664871
  • ISBN-13: 978-0763664879
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 0.5 x 12.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,089,746 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Dienne TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 3, 2015
Format: Hardcover
I don’t know what young children are supposed to make of this story. That a young boy from Tierra del Fuego got the opportunity to travel to England, learn the language and other customs, be a celebrity, and that it was all a grand adventure? But afterwards, despite their best intentions, the boy reverted back to a naked savage? Well, you win some, you lose some.

This story – of necessity since it is just a young children’s picture book – leaves a lot of Orundellico’s (aka “Jemmy Button”) story out. He wasn’t just “given” to the sailors in exchange for a button, he was bought like a slave. He was taken away from the only home and way of life he ever knew and taken halfway around the world to an entirely different culture, not to mention climate. He was displayed pretty much like a circus freak. He was treated like a thing, an object to be studied, perhaps with revulsion, perhaps with wonder. But in any case, this was not a consensual arrangement (how could he possibly have consented or not, even had he been given the opportunity to do so?), but rather a vile example of our European colonial heritage.

And that’s to say nothing of what happened when he was returned to his “home” (which, of course, could never really be his home again, could it?). All the book tells us is that he again shed his clothes as soon as he realized he was “home”. But that’s only the beginning of the story. The hope was that he would “civilize” his people, but how can one man, removed from “his people” for years, do such a thing? How could he even teach them his new language (even assuming he wanted to), let alone everything else about Western “civilization”? Instead, he was an outcast and attacked by his people. Later, more missionaries came and he became their unwilling “project”.
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Format: Hardcover
This picture book story traces the life of a native boy from Tierra del Fuego, as he is taken from his home to England, and eventually returns. Children, ages 5-8, will learn about history and culture from this painterly picture book.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
a must read for all families...perfect gift...incredible art.....this is a treasure!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
love the illustrations and story, one of the illustrators is my neighbor and easily one of the best people i've met in the past year
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This is the best children's book I have ever come across! The pictures are amazing!
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