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Something Extraordinary by [Ben Clanton]

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Something Extraordinary Kindle Edition

4.6 out of 5 stars 17 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

PreS-K—At first glance, this story appears to celebrate the power of imagination. A boy wishes for powers to fly, breathe underwater, move things with his mind, or talk to animals. He wishes for unusual pets and footsteps that make funny sounds. All these wishes are illustrated in muted shades. Even the rain "in seven different colors" falls as pastel drops. Although the child's bushy tail and fangs evoke Max and the robust wild things in his imaginary journey, Clanton's protagonist ultimately discovers that something truly extraordinary can be found in the singing birds, blooming flowers, and trees around him. While still quite muted, the colors of these outdoor scenes are brighter than the pages devoted to imagination. VERDICT Perhaps Clanton wants to foster appreciation of everyday wonders found in nature, but the story is confusing and unsatisfying.—Kathy Piehl, Minnesota State University Library, Mankato --This text refers to the hardcover edition.

Review

Bored with the familiar, this young daydreamer imagines how life could be different. For starters, he'd liked to fly or have his drawings—in this case, a robot—come to life. The ideas become more creative as he continues; he would like it if "the rain came in seven different colors. And flavors!" His longings are depicted in watercolor-and-pencil compositions, rendered in a muted palette of browns and blue-greens. Ultimately, his puff of air on a dandelion carries the wish "that something would happen. / Something real!" In a quietly ironic twist, the boy notices a springtime scene (brighter, by subtle degrees) just across the gutter. The birds that had earlier accompanied him, chirping in small, musical speech bubbles, are seen tending their family in a branch of a tree. Organic pink and yellow shapes form the flowers that grace the cheery paradise. The protagonist's earlier desire to talk to the animals is achieved as he bends toward a turtle and produces his own music bubble. In less-capable hands, the idea that the real is extraordinary (and by extrapolation, that enjoyment requires close observation) could have come across as clichéd and didactic. Instead, scenes full of gentle humor and inventive play convey respect and affection for the audience. The slowly dawning message will elicit excitement about spring, wishing, and the ability to decode a narrative. (Kirkus, *STARRED REVIEW March 15, 2015)

At first glance, this story appears to celebrate the power of imagination. A boy wishes for powers to fly, breathe underwater, move things with his mind, or talk to animals. He wishes for unusual pets and footsteps that make funny sounds. All these wishes are illustrated in muted shades. Even the rain “in seven different colors” falls as pastel drops. Although the child’s bushy tail and fangs evoke Max and the robust wild things in his imaginary journey, Clanton’s protagonist ultimately discovers that something truly extraordinary can be found in the singing birds, blooming flowers, and trees around him. While still quite muted, the colors of these outdoor scenes are brighter than the pages devoted to imagination. VERDICT Perhaps Clanton wants to foster appreciation of everyday wonders found in nature, but the story is confusing and unsatisfying.–Kathy Piehl, Minnesota State University Library, Mankato (School Library Journal April 2015)

Clanton (Rex Wrecks It!) uses pencil and muted watercolors to draw a boy who unfurls a litany of wishes: to fly, grow a tail and fangs, speak to animals, and more. “I wish my drawings could come to life,” he says, as a robot with a television-box body and pincer claws emerges from his notebook. “And that I could move things with my mind,” he continues; sure enough, the robot rises off the ground. After wishing for a menagerie of unusual pets, the boy stops, and the animals fade back into drawings, exposed as fantasies. “But mostly... I wish that something would happen. Something real!” Now he spies a tree with a nest of birds in it: “Wow! Hello! Where did all of you come from?” Suddenly, there’s more color in the world, and real creatures to discover. Clanton reveals the charm of recognizing the miraculous in the everyday, yet there’s a hint of melancholy, too. Wishes and imagination have power, he suggests, but they pale beside the experiences that await in the real world. (Publishers Weekly April 13, 2015)

"[S]cenes full of gentle humor and inventive play convey respect and affection for the audience. The slowly dawning message will elicit excitement about spring, wishing, and the ability to decode a narrative." (Kirkus Reviews, STARRED REVIEW)

"Clanton reveals the charm of recognizing the miraculous in the everyday...Wishes and imagination have power, he suggests, but they pale beside the experiences that await in the real world." (Publishers Weekly)


Product details

  • File size : 16855 KB
  • Publication date : June 16, 2015
  • Print length : 40 pages
  • Publisher : Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers (June 16, 2015)
  • ASIN : B00O6603QA
  • Word Wise : Not Enabled
  • Language: : English
  • Lending : Not Enabled
  • X-Ray : Not Enabled
  • Enhanced typesetting : Not Enabled
  • Text-to-Speech : Not enabled
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.6 out of 5 stars 17 ratings

Customer reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5
17 global ratings
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4 star
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2 star
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1 star 0% (0%) 0%
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