Esmeralda and the Children Next Door

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9780618029020: Esmeralda and the Children Next Door
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Esmeralda is big and strong but she does not want to be the circus strong-woman like her parents hope she will be. Esmeralda would be happier walking the tightrope or doing acrobatics. But what she truly wants is to play with the children next door. Trouble is, the children are terrified of Esmeralda's great size and strength. They yell at her to go away. Gentle Esmeralda desperately wants to be friends, but how can she? Then one day Esmeralda proves how kind and loving she really is and wins the friendship she has craved.

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About the Author:

Jenny Nimmo lives in Wales with her husband and three children, Paul Howard studied graphic design in Leicester, graduating in 1989 with first class honors. For a time he worked in London's Natural History Museum. He lives in London with his wife and their son, Samuel. where they run a residential summer school of art in an ancient watermill. Jenny has worked for the BBC as a photographic researcher. Her first novel was published in 1974.

From School Library Journal:

Kindergarten-Grade 2-What seem like surefire elements (circus performers, a daring rescue, a message about tolerance, and a happy ending-not to mention the fulfillment of a dream and a bit of origami thrown in) lose their appeal when they are jumbled together into this curious picture book. Because of her enormous strength and size, Esmeralda is recruited by her parents at an early age to be the strong woman in their circus act. However, she secretly longs to be an acrobat and tightrope walker-and to be accepted by "the children next door." Rejected by her neighbors as "clumsy" and frightening, she amuses herself by making tiny, delicate origami animals. Everything changes, however, when a wind "as fierce and strong as she was" sweeps through the village. Esmeralda saves the neighbors' baby from being crushed by a broken branch and then mysteriously loses her strength. After a lengthy recovery, she realizes her dream of becoming an acrobat and finally the kids next door (none of whom is ever named) befriend her. Suffice it to say that logic is not the strong suit here. While Howard's illustrations are appropriately larger than life and quirky in their own right, they lack the verve needed to elevate this rather flat story above the pedestrian.
Lisa Dennis, The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, PA
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Nimmo, Jenny
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