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Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Book? Hardcover – October 2, 2003
"Warlight" by Michael Ondaatje
A dramatic coming-of-age story set in the decade after World War II, "Warlight" is the mesmerizing new novel from the best-selling author of "The English Patient." Pre-order today
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From School Library Journal
Grade 1-3-When Herb falls asleep with his head on top of a dusty book of fairy tales, he finds himself stuck inside the volume with no quick way out. Chased by a raging Goldilocks, who is upset that he landed in her story, the boy journeys through a parade of fairy tales and finally gets caught in the middle of "Cinderella." All of his past mishandling of the book comes back to haunt him-Cinderella's kitchen is sticky with cookie crumbs, the Queen does not appreciate the mustache Herb has drawn on her face, and Prince Charming has been missing since he was cut out of the book and used as a birthday-card decoration. Child's wildly expressive collages include boldly patterned backgrounds, cartoon characters, and photographs in unexpected places. The text (and font) grows and shrinks and winds jaggedly through the story, and turns upside down on several pages. This fast-paced creative tale has some really funny moments. However, children may find it a bit frenetic. While Child's "Clarice Bean" titles (Candlewick) are grounded by that strong, familiar central character, here the disparate elements of the story sometimes feel as if they are literally flying off the edges of the pages.
Shelley B. Sutherland, Niles Public Library District, IL
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
K-Gr. 3. Here's a book with a message that librarians can get behind. It's about fairy-tale characters who berate their storybook's owner for having defaced its pages. The game is up when Herb, the same googly-eyed boy from Child's Beware of the Storybook Wolves (2003), dozes off while reading and tumbles right into the story. As he meets its disgruntled characters, their doodled moustaches and other incongruities jog his memory of a time, "long, long ago," when he had treated this book not so kindly. Guilty as charged, Herb pulls some stunts worthy of Harold and his purple crayon, then sets things to rights. Crazily collaged artwork, freewheeling typefaces, and a pull-out spread of Cinderella's ball (minus Cinderella and Prince Charming--guess who's to blame?) contribute to the sense of reigning mayhem. Children old enough to grasp the play on books as both physical objects and repositories of story will enjoy this; perhaps they'll even be less apt to give their own books (or borrowed ones) the personal treatment. Jennifer Mattson
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved