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Synopses & Reviews
Desmond likes to disappear, blend into the background, and hide in the cleverest of places. But when a new student named Gloria arrives at his school, Desmond finds himself noticed for the first time. Can Gloria help Desmond get used to the life in the spotlight?
Anna Alter’s charming story is an original and reassuring take on overcoming shyness.
"'How Not to Be Seen' is a famous Monty Python sketch, but it also describes the peculiar and poignant talent of shy children like Alter's (What Can You Do with an Old Red Shoe?) hero Desmond, an anthropomorphized cat. Desmond is so self-erasing that he can easily blend into a classroom poster: 'Sometimes, even his teacher could not find him.' Then one day, a vivacious and persistent rabbit named Gloria (think young Auntie Mame with long ears) arrives in class and pulls Desmond out of his shell. One good turn leads to another, and soon most of the class wallflowers are blooming--although the final image makes it clear there's still work to be done. Many of Desmond's camouflage efforts show a lot of ingenuity, which could convey to some readers that his inner life in rich enough to compensate for his lack of friends. But Alter's empathy is never in question, and with Gloria's arrival it becomes clear just how much yearning was in Desmond's heart--socially confident readers and shrinking violets alike will be won over. Ages 5 — 8. (Aug.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright PWyxz LLC)
About the Author
ANNA ALTER, like Desmond, was terrified of the spotlight when she was a child. She graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design, where she studied illustration. Her books for children include What Can You Do with an Old Red Shoe? and Abigail Spells, which Kirkus Reviews called “a winsome tale [that] demonstrates the value of friendship during the trials and travails of life.”
Originally from Virginia, Anna lives in western Massachusetts, where she visits schools to speak about her work. You can visit her on the Web at www.annaalter.com.
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