Betty Paraskevas Shamlanders

ISBN 13: 9780152928544

Shamlanders

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9780152928544: Shamlanders
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Colorful illustrations help chronicle the exciting journey of a small boy and two huge polka-dotted creatures across the desert of Nowhere Land, as they try to reach Stucco Chateau to join the Shamlanders' tango.

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From School Library Journal:

Grade 1-6-In the dream landscape of Nowhere Land, where yellow desert meets bright blue sky, strange creatures appear-polka-dot beasts, argyle sheep, and a film crew waiting for rain. From behind rocks and cacti the Shamlanders watch, their human bodies topped by weird, masklike heads. The dreaming boy finds his way to the Stucco Chateau where the Shamlanders dance and socialize. From there he follows the advice to "rise above it" and, with the help of a "bouquet" of balloons, returns home and wakes in his own bed. What are children to make of this surreal fantasy? Is it meant to reflect a child's attempt to process his first experience of the adult world, in which the color of one's skin matters, everything exacts a price, and men and women hide behind strange masks? Or is it, like Alice's dream, a world of pure fantasy and nonsense in which things become more and more curious? On one level, the book is a sophisticated fable with a message that will come through to adults. At the same time, children too young to understand the land of "sham" and its inhabitants will delight in the rollicking, rhymed verse. Readers of all ages will enjoy the splashy, postmodern art, a bright blend of cartoon figures, Monty Pythonesque effects, and commercial video styles.
Shirley Wilton, Ocean County College, Toms River, NJ
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Publishers Weekly:

The mother-and-son team that created On the Edge of the Sea and Junior Kroll takes an entertaining journey into the phantasmagoric terrain of the mind in this latest collaboration. In rhymed verse, Betty Paraskevas chronicles the voyage of a nameless young sojourner to Nowhere Land, a vast sandscape of dunes, brilliant blue skies and benignly bizarre creatures. As he travels past strange men and stranger beasts, the boy is peered at from all corners by the shadowy Shamlanders--fantastic, business-suited creatures whose scariness is mitigated by their above-the-neck resemblance to Mr. Potato Head. Only when the hero turns the tables and peers back at the Shamlanders is he able to escape from Nowhere Land back into his own bed once more. The verse is sprightly and engaging, but doesn't scan smoothly. However, this weakness is redeemed by vibrant gouache and acrylic paintings, which exploit to the fullest Michael Paraskevas's talent for the whimsically surreal. Ages 3-8.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Betty Paraskevas
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