Karla Kuskin Paul

ISBN 13: 9780060235680

Paul

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9780060235680: Paul

When his parents are too busy to listen to his song, a young boy sets out, with the aid of a fantastic assortment of characters, to find his magic grandmother.

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From Publishers Weekly:

Working with a series of fantastical paintings by the late Avery--paintings originally meant to be paired with a text long since lost--Kuskin has succeeded in weaving around them a story that is not only logically plausible but very often charming. Her tone meets and complements the art's whimsy, and she gracefully accounts for a disparate number of visual elements within a fundamentally simple narrative. The title character sets out to visit his "magic grandmother" with the help of a flying pig. Along the way he encounters a caterpillar with magic whiskers, a singing cat who offers directions, a quartet of cooperative wolves, and others. When he finds his grandmother, she is as magical as he'd remembered, and is delighted to hear the song he has composed en route. Kuskin's text is, in the main, straight-faced--a good foil for the primitive, outlandish figures pictured in the art. Yet it is satisfyingly sprinkled with a dry, understated wit: a gull gives Paul wings of his own, advising him that he will be able to "fly from place to place just like a pig"; the singing cat practices her tones with the vocal cliche "meee meee meee," followed a moment later by "ooow wow wow." It all adds up to a strange, surprising adventure with the odd but consistent internal logic of a dream. All ages.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal:

Grade 2-4-Paul has written a song, but his parents are too busy to listen. So, he decides to search out his "magic grandmother" and sing it for her. Wearing his magic hat, he meets a flying pig, a blue-eyed caterpillar, a policeperson, the North wind, a singing cat, and four wolves, all of whom help the boy to find the woman and to bring this stilted, contrived story to its merciful end. The noted American artist created the double-spread, gouache-on-watercolor-paper paintings almost 50 years ago to illustrate a children's book, but the work was never published and the original text was lost. Kuskin has taken on the task of writing the story that Avery presented in his pictures. She works hard to interpret every detail, leaving no room for the art to speak for itself. However, with faceless characters and simplified shapes, the flat, one-dimensional illustrations hold little charm for a young audience used to the eloquent art found in today's picture books.
Dot Minzer, North Barrington School, Barrington, IL
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Karla Kuskin
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