- Age Range: 5 and up
- Grade Level: Kindergarten and up
- Lexile Measure: AD730L (What's this?)
- Hardcover: 32 pages
- Publisher: Kane/Miller Book Pub (September 10, 2005)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1929132816
- ISBN-13: 978-1929132812
- Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 11.1 x 0.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 7 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #93,427 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Sebastian's Roller Skates Hardcover – September 10, 2005
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From School Library Journal
Kindergarten-Grade 3–Sebastian always has a lot to say, but he is too shy to speak up. He won't answer in class, tell the barber that he doesn't like his haircut, or talk to his neighbors. He is especially shy around the curly haired girl he likes at school. Then one day, Sebastian finds an abandoned pair of roller skates and tries them on. At first, he falls down and decides that skating is not for him. However, these mysterious skates won't go away and eventually he is gliding through the park. Soon, with his newfound courage, he is talking in spite of himself–after all, he has always had a lot to say. The cartoon illustrations tell what the text cannot, as a collage of torn-paper thoughts spills from Sebastian's head whenever he wants to talk. The collages start out in black and white but as Sebastian grows more confident and begins to share his thoughts aloud, they erupt into full color. Careful observers will notice that details from previous spreads reappear a few pages later in Sebastian's thoughts and that any text in his mind and in the art itself are in Spanish as this book was originally published in Spain. There is much to be savored in this story of self-discovery, and young audiences will find something new with each rereading.–Julie Roach, Watertown Free Public Library, MA
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PreS-Gr. 2. This picture book from Spain features Sebastian, a boy so shy that he can barely whisper a word to his apartment-house neighbors, his barber, or even his teacher. Inside his head, though, he has plenty to say. Finding a pair of roller skates abandoned in the park, he tries skating but goes so slowly that he stumbles from one place to the next. When he catches hold of a runaway dog's leash and takes a wild ride though the park, Sebastian is spurred to overcome his hesitancy in skating and, even better, in speaking to those around him. His happiness shines from his face and from the collage of images that represent his words and thoughts. First in shades of gray and later in brilliant colors, the collage elements imaginatively express what Sebastian is feeling as well as what he is saying. The universality of Sebastian's experience ensures that this pleasing picture book, translated from the original Catalan, will resonate with children on this side of the Atlantic. Carolyn Phelan
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Top customer reviews
One day, while walking home through the park, Sebastian finds some abandoned roller skates. He tries, he immediately falls, and he concludes, "Skating is not for me." However,the next day can stand on them before falling. At this point, author Joan de Deu Prats could have gone onward and upward, tracing Sebastian's slow but sure development into a sure-footed skater. Fortunately, she's more talented than that: Yes, Sebastian slowly improves, but when he sees skaters better than him, he's stops and goes home.
They say that necessity is one Mother of Invention (Frank Zappa is another), but here it's a runaway dog who inspires Sebastian. Grabbing the running dog's leash, he's in the zone, bounding across a bridge and jumping a ditch, Before he realizes it, Sebastian has "skated through the whole park!" Without even trying, almost Zen-like, Sebastian has mastered something without trying to master it. Sebastian's formerly grey mood bursts into a collage, they fill the lobby of his apartment complex, and pour out of his mouth as he speaks. Even though he's still a tweener, smaller--smaller than grown-ups, maybe not even noticed by him, Sebastian's confidence and perseverence have grown immeasurably.
Things come full circle at the conclusion: He TELLS the barber that he "doesn't want his head to look like a billiard ball," he answers tough geography questions, and, in his most important step, he asks Ester to go skating with him. Their eyes meet, she shyly agrees, and the page spills with orange, red, and purple hearts, light and free. 'SEbastian' tackles a difficult age with skill and aplomb. Not only does De Deu Prats understand the tweener psyche, but she respects it without over-dramatizing. Of course, skating doesn't melt all tweener anxiety--no one thing could--but Sebastian's path implies that it's possible. SHe seems to suggest that adults shouldn't judge kids by their "cover,"--there's much more going on--and that adolescents shouldn't label themselves either...a change is gonna come. The drawings are open, colorful, and match the emotional content: Rovira superbly depicts thoughts and settings--the inside and the outside. This superb book will appeal to kids both younger and older than the pre-teen Sebastian.