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The Typewriter by [Bill Thomson]

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The Typewriter Kindle Edition

4.5 out of 5 stars 78 ratings

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Make simple joys affordable

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

PreS-Gr3—Three friends ride their bikes to a deserted carousel on a wintry day; a lone monarch butterfly suggests whimsy despite the snow banks and heavy coats. Though the attraction is closed for the season, they find a mysterious black box covered in white letters atop a ride-on bumblebee. The children—a white boy, black girl, and Asian boy—marvel in dismay...the box contains a relic from the past—an old manual typewriter. The girl types the word beach, and they are suddenly on a sandy beach with majestic blue waves. Coats are shed and a chase ensues—boy with crab pursuing laughing girl. The other boy types “Ball,” prompting a spirited game of volleyball with a giant colored beach ball. “Ice Cream” delivers a giant orange bucket of dessert with three yellow shovel spoons. Next, a giant “Crab” attack is foiled by a “Big Wave.” Finally, the girl types “The End,” and coats are donned, the typewriter is returned to its case, and the friends cycle off. The stunningly realistic art, created with acrylic paint and colored pencils, features full-spreads, panels, and close-ups that reveal the children's awe and delight. Reminiscent of Thomson's Chalk (Two Lions, 2010), this title is another celebration of the power of imagination. Students can imagine what word they would type and illustrate their own scenarios. VERDICT: A feast for the eyes and inspiration for the mind. —Barbara Auerbach, New York City Public Schools (Starred Review)


“Thomson’s dramatic, ultra-realistic illustrations have won him many accolades, and his fans won’t be disappointed with his work here, rendered in acrylic and colored pencil. The children’s exaggerated expressions telegraph their wonder, fear, and relief when they use the typewriter to dispatch the giant crab. It’s a thrilling visual adventure and reminder of the way words can transport us.” Publishers Weekly

“Adroit use of light, exaggerated and unusual perspectives, and intense close-ups emphasize the kids' facial expressions (curiosity, surprise, joy, awe, terror) as well as their size in relation to the gargantuan ice cream bucket and fearsome crab. Words rule in this intriguing, impressive, imaginative, nearly wordless narrative drama.” Kirkus Reviews

“Magnificent photo-realistic art makes the magic plain as day and reinforces both the wonder and menace of unexpected events. Sharp-eyed youngsters will notice details like the name of the typewriter—Spelling Bee—and relate it to the bee-shaped amusement park ride where they found it. An imaginative trip worth taking.” Booklist

“The stunning artwork will draw readers right into the story with the characters and facilitate a magical experience for all. Don’t be fooled by the lack of words. The possibilities for storytelling with this book are endless. The rich facial expressions on the characters tell a lot about each child’s personality and the way they stare right out at the reader invites them into the story as well. Highly recommended.” San Francisco Book Review

Product details

  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B012P6B53M
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Two Lions (March 8, 2016)
  • Publication date ‏ : ‎ March 8, 2016
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • File size ‏ : ‎ 39963 KB
  • Text-to-Speech ‏ : ‎ Not enabled
  • Enhanced typesetting ‏ : ‎ Not Enabled
  • X-Ray ‏ : ‎ Not Enabled
  • Word Wise ‏ : ‎ Not Enabled
  • Sticky notes ‏ : ‎ Not Enabled
  • Print length ‏ : ‎ 40 pages
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.5 out of 5 stars 78 ratings

About the author

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Bill Thomson lives in Southington, Connecticut with his wife, Diann, and their three sons, Billy, Nik, and Ethan. Bill illustrated the picture books, Karate Hour, Building With Dad, Baseball Hour, and Soccer Hour; and he also created the wordless books, CHALK, FOSSIL and The Typewriter. Bill teaches at the Hartford Art School at the University of Hartford where he is a Professor of Illustration.

Customer reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5
78 global ratings

Top reviews from the United States

Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on March 19, 2016
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5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Nearly-wordless Read
By karrots on March 18, 2016
I love books, but I especially love Bill Thomson's books. I own Fossil, Chalk and The Typewriter. They all have beautiful and realistic illustrations and Thomson's ability to capture facial expressions really does make a picture worth a thousand words. All three of these books celebrate the power of imagination, but I definitely see the writer refining and improving his craft since Fossil. The Typewriter may just be my new favorite, although it is hard to supplant Chalk. I love how The Typewriter brings this "ancient tech", which many kids these days have never seen, much less used, to create a story full of wonder and excitement and danger in nine words or less. This is a work of genius! Now if you have a child who loves Dinosaurs, then Chalk is the way to go...but for a great summer-themed "read" The Typewriter is the one! I'd recommend it for all ages, but will be a likely bedtime favorite of the 3-5 year old crowd.
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Top reviews from other countries

Mrs C
5.0 out of 5 stars Speech delay help.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on September 20, 2022
Javier Mancebo
4.0 out of 5 stars No llega al nivel de Chalk, pero está bastante bien.
Reviewed in Spain 🇪🇸 on March 15, 2016
t olsen
4.0 out of 5 stars My son enjoys making up a new story with bit ...
Reviewed in Canada 🇨🇦 on April 23, 2017
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