Written By: Norton Juster
Illustrated By: G. Brian Karas
Schwartz & Wade, October 2011, Fiction
Suitable For: ages 4-8
Themes/Topics: moving, making new friends
Opening: "The big gray van pulled away from the curb, moved slowly down the street, and disappeared around the corner. Now it was quiet, and there he was, where he really didn't want to be."
Brief Synopsis: (from Amazon's book description): "This is a simply told story about a boy who moves to a new neighborhood and finds a unique way to make friends."
Links To Resources: Although this book has been out for 6 months, I was not able to find any online resources. I was surprised. (Granted I was cross-eyed tired when I looked and may have missed something - feel free to point it out if you know of any!) So. This book would make a good jumping off point for a discussion about either being "the new kid" or being kind to someone else who is. How can one meet people and make friends? Alternatively, how can one help others feel welcome? It would be equally good for discussions about moving. What are some hard things about moving? What are some good things? A child who is moving to a new home could make a keepsake book to remind him of the home he's leaving behind.
Why I Like This Book: This is a simple story, but so nicely told that you feel the boy's emotions perfectly, from sadness and loneliness to hope to contentment. I like the fact that he goes out and tries to make friends - he doesn't just sit home and mope, he takes positive action in spite of his feelings. This is one clever boy. He finds a very innovative way to make friends, and it works like a charm. I bet the ending surprises a lot of kids :) I love the line where he says, "People always say you'll love something when they know you won't" - something a kid would say!
For the complete list of books with resources, please visit Perfect Picture Books.
Now, before I get to the Pitch Winner :), I knew I'd think of other things! I forgot to mention on Wednesday that I was interviewed on Kai Strand's blog. I posted it on FB and a few of you lovely people visited and commented, but I wanted to mention it here too because Kai was so nice to have me and I don't want her to be disappointed at the turn-out! So if you have a moment, and you need something to do, and you want to hear about my childhood :) hop on over to Kai's. (BTW, Kai keeps an eye out for other authors who might want to participate in her Three Times A Charm interviews, so some of you might like a turn!)
Also, sources close to the hog have indicated that Phyllis has arrived in California!!! and we should be hearing from her Florida any time now... maybe in time for Monday! Wouldn't that be exciting! Phyllis is especially happy to be on tour since today, at a school visit, someone mistook her for a chipmunk! (Sometimes I wonder if kids go outside enough to see animals! A chipmunk? Really? :))
Okay. Enough with the stalling :) The February Pitch Winner, whose Pitch has been sent to editor Erin Molta for critique and comments is....
Congratulations, Sharron! And congratulations to everyone who bravely put forth their pitches for critique. I hope you all got some valuable and helpful feedback so that even if you didn't win a read by Erin you still gained from the experience! Thank you all for participating and, judging by the voting results, everyone had a tough choice - three people were fairly close in the running so you all must have done a good job!!!
PPB bloggers, please leave your post-specific link in the list below so we can all come visit :) Have a great weekend, everyone, and we'll meet back here Monday for a new Oh Susanna question, and maybe Straight From The Editor and maybe a report from Phyllis :)