- Age Range: 4 and up
- Grade Level: Preschool - 2
- Lexile Measure: AD300L (What's this?)
- Hardcover: 1 pages
- Publisher: Tambourine; 1st edition (September 1, 1993)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0688111769
- ISBN-13: 978-0688111762
- Product Dimensions: 9 x 0.5 x 11.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 1 customer review
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #10,965,208 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Palace of Stars Hardcover – September 1, 1993
From Publishers Weekly
Moving far beyond nostalgia despite her 1950s setting, Lakin brings wit and verve to this intergenerational tale, spinning period details into the stuff of wonder. Amanda and her great-uncle Max enjoy their regular Saturday outings to the zoo: "When he came to call, they walked arm in arm all the way to their trolley stop. 'I'm paying for two,' he told the conductor, and tossed their fare into the box." After he alters their routine and buys Amanda the Scottie purse she admires in a shop window, she saves up "for weeks" in order to reciprocate. She plans a surprise, a trip to "a mansion filled with velvet and gold . . . the palace of stars," which turns out to be a spectacular movie theater. Though the ceiling that is supposed to glow "with twinkling stars and soft clouds that floated through space" is an anticlimax visually, Root's muted tones mostly suit the text. As in Hugh Can Do , small narrative spots stitch together full-page images with looming perspectives and art deco borders. Lakin ( Jet Black Pickup Truck ) describes this book as "a love letter" to the movie theater of her childhood Saturday afternoons, and the romance of her story lingers like a fine perfume. Ages 4-up.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From School Library Journal
Grade 1-4-This loving tribute to an elderly uncle, glowingly illustrated in colors reminiscent of Edward Hopper's work, captures a slower time when theatres with names like the Roxy, the Palace, or the Rialto were found in most big cities. On their Saturday outings, great-uncle Max and Amanda go special places. Three Saturdays into the story, Amanda declares that this day will be her special treat; they will go by trolley to a mansion filled with velvet and gold, candy, magical things, and stars. Great-uncle Max, in his too-large 1940s-style suit, is the perfect gentleman companion as he listens attentively to Amanda or stands quietly while the independent little girl proudly pays the trolley fare. While the story may be a nostalgic return to another era for grandparents, some children may have been in an old, elegant theater now restored to its former glory. And most children are familiar with the magic of the movies, the candy counter, and the moment when the lights go off. Root's watercolors, some neatly framed in the gaudy architectural motifs decorating so many grand old theaters of the 1930s and 1940s, evoke a time when the place was a part of the event and not just a thin-walled room in some mall movie multiplex.
Susan Hepler, Alexandria City Public Schools, VA
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Now, surely Great-Uncle Max has seen these opulent movie theaters many times in his life. But Amanda believes that she is sharing something new and special with her beloved uncle. And i bet Uncle Max sees the movie theater through a whole new set of eyes, as Amanda tells him of this magical place. Patricia Lakin's story is simple yet elegant. Kimberly Bulcken Root's illustrations are rich and very detailed. The story would not have come to life so vividly with out them.
How sad that too few children today have the opportunity to experience the wonder of an opulent movie theater. Unfortunately, the book is out of print, and only available used. But if you are a lover of these magnificent old theaters and all they represent, you would do well to get yourself a copy. The simple story speaks to an era we have all but lost. Read it to a child and then, if you are lucky enough to have one nearby, visit a vintage movie theater. Tell a child about the wonderful way people used to "go to the movies". Then, do something to help in the restoration or preservation efforts!
Thank you Patricia Lakin & Kimberly Bulcken Root for this delightful and charming book!