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A lonely New York City resident finds companionship and good cheer at the Westway Cafe where dreams come true.
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As a child in West Virginia, Cynthia Rylant never dreamed of becoming a writer. In her free time, she devoured Archie comic books and paperback romances and enjoyed the outdoors. But after taking one college English class, she was, hooked on great writing I didn’t know about this part of me until I went to college-didn’t know I loved beautiful stories.” And one night, inspired by the Southern writer James Agee, she sat down and wrote When I Was Young in the Mountains. Named a Caldecott Honor Book and an ALA Notable Book, it was an instant success.
Since that night, Rylant hasn’t stopped creating wonderful books. Her stories explore friendship, love, grief, and other mysteries, and often draw on her memories of growing up in Appalachia. I get a lot of personal gratification thinking of those people who don’t get any attention in the world and making them really valuable in my fiction-making them absolutely shine with their beauty.”
She lives with her many pets in the Pacific Northwest.
Grade 3 Up-- Solomon Singer is a middle-aged man who lives in a hotel for men in New York City. One night his solitary wanderings take him into a restaurant where he reads these words on the menu: ``The Westway Cafe -- where all your dreams come true. '' A soft-voiced waiter (metaphorically named Angel) welcomes him and invites him back. Each night Singer returns, ordering food and, silently, ordering his wishes for the things he remembers from an Indiana boyhood. Rylant has sketched a spare portrait, in flawless, graceful prose, of a man weighted down by hopelessness. Readers do not know the details of his circumstances, but they will feel his forlornness acutely. There is a symbolic and ambiguous quality to this book, which, despite its uplifting ending, is heightened by the illustrations. Catalanotto's signature watercolors have never been more affecting. He captures the smudgy nighttime murkiness of urban streets illuminated by artificial lights that float upward to become stars and bleed downward onto wet pavements to become a vision of midwestern wheat fields. This can be read as a familiar allegory in which the mysterious stranger represents the wish giver--the angel. It also works as a straightforward reminder that, in the face of staggering social problems, a smile in chance encounters has power. Not for the average story-hour crowd, but this title will be of great value to libraries in which whole language demands new creative uses for picture books for older readers, writers, and thinkers. --Kate McClelland, Perrot Memorial Library, Greenwich, CT
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description Orchard Books, 1992. Condition: New. Peter Catalanotto (illustrator). book. Seller Inventory # M0531059782
Book Description Orchard Books, 1992. Hardcover. Condition: New. Seller Inventory # DADAX0531059782
Book Description Orchard Books, 1992. Hardcover. Condition: New. Never used!. Seller Inventory # P110531059782