Synopses & Reviews
Marian called it Roxaboxen. (She always knew the name of everything.) There across the road, it looked like any rocky hill -- nothing but sand and rocks, some old wooden boxes, cactus and greasewood and thorny ocotillo -- but it was a special place: a sparkling world of jeweled homes, streets edged with the whitest stones, and two ice cream shops. Come with us there, where all you need to gallop fast and free is a long stick and a soaring imagination.
In glowing desert hues, artist Barbara Cooney has caught the magic of Alice McLerran's treasured land of Roxaboxen -- a place that really was, and, once you've been there, always is.
"Like a cinematographer, Say, in perhaps his best work to date, pays tribute to a bygone era with a brief slice-of-life story about a boyand#8217;s encounter with a sing painter. . . . . Say subtly and ingeniously blends a feeling of nostalgia with a hard-hitting immediacy. . . . The images and the boyand#8217;s passion as an artist will remain with [readers]." and#8212;Publishers Weekly, starred review Publishers Weekly, Starred
"Studying sayand#8217;s technique could inspire any aspiring painter." and#8212;Horn Book (9-10/00) Horn Book
"In a tribute to many modern artists, includijng Hopper, Warhol, and Magritte, Say shows and tells how their pictures make you feel and how the surreal is part of a young man's search for himself." and#8212;Booklist (19/01/00 Booklist, ALA
Kirkus Reviews (9/15/00) Kirkus Reviews
School Library Journal (9/00) School Library Journal
There, across the road, it looked like any rocky hill. But to Marian, it is a special place--a sparkling world of jeweled homes, streets edged with white stones, and two ice cream shops. In glowing desert hues, Cooney captures McLerran's treasured land of Roxaboxen. Full color.
Marian called it Roxaboxen. There across the road, it looked like any rocky hill--nothing but sand and rocks, some old wooden boxes, and cactus--but it was a special place, where all you needed to gallop fast and free were a stick and a soaring imagination. Full-color illustrations.
Caldecott medalist Allen Say seamlessly weaves together dreams and reality in this story of a boy and a sign painter traveling across the country painting billboards in the desert. Sayand#8217;s awe-inspiring illustrations make this book one that should not be missed by readers of any age.
Early one morning a boy comes into town looking for work. He meets a sign painter who takes him on as a helper, and they are commissioned to paint a series of billboards in the desert. Each billboard has only one word, Arrowstar. They do not know its meaning. As they are about to paint the last sign, the boy looks up and sees in the distance a magnificent structure. Is it real? Together, they goand#160;to find out.
Here Allen Say tells a haunting story of dreams and choices for readers of all ages. It is a Common Core State Standardsand#160;Text Exemplar (Grades 2-3, Read-Aloud Story).
About the Author
Alice McLerran was an "Army brat" and moved every year or so -- from Hawaii to Germany, from New York to Ecuador.
She still leads a gypsy life, traveling the world with her physicist husband and dividing time between their home in New York and their "dacha" in the mountains of Oregon. She's happy to visit schools anywhere! The McLerran cat, Shuwa, prefers to stay home.
"Children often ask me how I started being a writer, and I tell them: by loving stories. My mother made up stories at bedtime, and my grandmother was a story-teller as well. I always read, and read, and read. I think most writers do. One bit of luck, I think, was that from the first I wrote for others. Over the years I made countless poems and little books as gifts. When you write for real readers, of course you want to do your best."
Barbara Cooney is one of the most well-loved authors and illustrators of children's books today. She has won many awards for her books, including the American Book Award and two Caldecott Medals for Illustration. Ms. Cooney lives in Damariscotta, Maine.