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The Tower to the Sun (Red Fox picture book) Paperback – April 1, 1999

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 1-6. Thompson creates a futuristic world in which the Earth is shrouded in a yellow, polluted mist and only the "weakest wash of sunshine" comes through. The richest man in the world and his grandson set out to penetrate the fog in order to see the sun. Collecting buildings from every continent, they spend years fabricating a tower. Finally, the leaning tower of Pisa is set at its peak, and the sky grows lighter. Sitting next to his great-grandson, the man feels the "warmth of life shine on his skin." The outlook of this book can only be described as bleak with its stark, desolate cityscape; dreary apocalyptic sky; and slim hope of continued survival. The only bright bit of fun arrives with the building of the tower where Thompson's signature crowding of minute details allows readers to put aside the story's premise in favor of discovering every visual nuance and identifying famous buildings. And yet this distraction is obliterated by the final illustration with its desolate line of silhouetted people waiting for their climb up the now menacing structure that looms like a foreboding atomic mushroom cloud. Maybe young readers will be incensed at the implied downtrodden apathy of this world's general population. Maybe this book will serve to spark the imagination in older readers to find more far-reaching, positive solutions. There's a lot of potential for discussion here.?Martha Topol, Traverse Area District Library, Traverse City, MI
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Kirkus Reviews

Thompson (How to Live Forever, 1996, etc.) offers readers plenty to think about, while providing, as usual, a great deal to look at in this story of a world where the sun no longer shines. The richest man in the world wants his grandson to see the sun as it truly is, without the haze of pollutants that makes their world look as if it were wrapped in ``dirty cotton wool.'' The biggest balloon ever cannot take them beyond the clouds, so they resolve to build a tower that will--``What use is all my money if I can't build dreams?'' asks the grandfather. The construction of the tower is full of Thompson's expected visual and spatial puns and drolleries; when, after decades of work, people start adding whole buildings to the tower, some very recognizable architectural works (the Guggenheim, the Sydney Opera House, Stonehenge) appear. The carefully wrapped Tower of Pisa is the final element that enables the very old man and his great-grandson to feel the warmth of the sun at last. Thompson's opening and concluding comparison of the tower with the Great Wall of China doesn't hold up to any sort of scrutiny, but his painterly pyrotechnics make this worth lingering over. (Picture book. 5-8) -- Copyright ©1997, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Series: Red Fox picture book
  • Paperback: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Red Fox (April 1, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099609118
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099609117
  • Product Dimensions: 11.4 x 8.7 x 0.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,025,351 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Colin Thompson is a craftsman in both word and thought, 'Tower to the Sun' is a feast for the eyes and the soul. Imagination runs rampant while reality raps nervously on your sensibilities. In a world of darkness this is a story of a immensely rich man and his adoring grandson who decide to build a tower through the man-made smog so that each may feel the sun on their face. It is a vision of one real possibility facing the future generations and a warning of this generation's carelessness with the environment. A joy to read over and over again with pictures that reveal something new at every viewing. Children will delight at the endless variety and adults will marvel at the intricacy and depth to the story telling.
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