Synopses & Reviews
A CHILD IN SEARCH OF HER STORY Caldecott medalist Mordicai Gerstein looks at books from a whole new angle.
Once upon a time there was a family who lived in a book. All but the youngest had stories they belonged to--fighting fires, exploring space, entertaining in the circus--but she didn't have one yet. Walking through all the possibilities of story types Mordicai Gerstein presents her quest in unique and changing perspectives: readers look down into the books below at the characters in their worlds. A funny and touching celebration of books, stories, and finding yourself.
"Living in a book is a bummer if you're the only character in the family who doesn't have a story. That's the problem facing Caldecott Medalist Gerstein's (The Man Who Walked Between the Towers) pigtailed protagonist even her family's pets have stories ('It's the story of a dog who seeks interesting odors,' says the dachshund. 'Goodbye. I'm off to sniff!'). The girl never does find a story she can drop into, but in the funny, freewheeling pages that follow, she discovers what a reader is ('EEEEK!' she exclaims, as she looks up and spots you-know-who peering down at her) and how the universe is filled with story possibilities, from historical fiction to Alice in Wonderland. Gerstein is playing at meta-fiction at a higher level than most authors do for this target group, and it's possible that younger audiences will be beguiled by the spunky heroine and the comics-style dialogue balloons and mystified by everything else. (Why do the family members have individual stories instead of one collective story?) Aspiring writers may be the most receptive: they'll see their own creative ambitions mirrored in the girl's wily willingness to find her narrative voice. Ages 4 8." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
About the Author
Mordicai Gerstein is the author and illustrator of The Man Who Walked Between the Towers, winner of the Caldecott Medal, and has had four books named New York Times Best Illustrated Books of the Year. Gerstein was born in Los Angeles in 1935. He remembers being inspired as a child by images of fine art, which his mother cut out of Life magazine, and by childrens books from the library: “I looked at Rembrandt and Superman, Matisse and Bugs Bunny, and began to make my own pictures.” He attended Chouinard Art Institute in Los Angeles, and then got a job in an animated cartoon studio that sent him to New York, where he designed characters and thought up ideas for TV commercials. When a writer named Elizabeth Levy asked him to illustrate a humorous mystery story about two girls and a dog, his book career began, and soon he moved on to writing as well as illustrating. “Im still surprised to be an author,” he says. “I wonder what Ill write next?” Gerstein lives in Westhampton, Massachusetts.