Malachy Doyle’s fanciful "small" tale, illustrated in delightful detail by Carll Cneut, will bring smiles to anyone who has ever missed the comforts of home.
When Antonio visits his grandmother on a tiny island on the other side of the world, he has a whale of a time. But there’s one slight problem: he seems to be getting smaller and smaller. Before long, he can’t even throw jam sandwiches to the sea monsters because he’s too small to see over the side of his grandmother’s boat. "You’re missing your mom," notes his granny, who tells him it’s time that he headed for home. So he finds a job on a sailing ship - and then the increasingly small Antonio’s big adventures really begin.
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Malachy Doyle grew up in Northern Ireland and now lives with his family in Wales. He says of ANTONIO ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE WORLD, GETTING SMALLER, "You know how it is when you’re away from home, away from the people you love. No matter how much of a wonderful time you’re having, there’s this niggly feeling inside that eats away at you until there’s nothing left to do but pack your bags and head for home. That’s Antonio." A full-time writer of children’s books, Malachy Doyle is also the author of JODY'S BEANS, THE BOLD BOY, and SLEEPY PENDOODLE.
Carll Cneut is an award-winning children’s book illustrator who lives and works in Ghent, Belgium. He says, "I remember driving speedy trains, sailing immense ships, battling with monsters, and hanging out in the wild, wild West with the other cowboys when I was a little boy. Finding all this
gathered in the story of Antonio made me fall in love with it instantly."
Kindergarten-Grade 3-When Antonio goes to the other side of the world to visit his grandmother, he has a wonderful time, but being away from home seems to make him shrink. Gran determines that the child is getting smaller because he misses his mother, and sends him packing. He works as a cabin boy on a ship, hitches a ride on a train, and borrows a cowboy's horse to get home. By the time he arrives, he's only about the size of a mouse, and his mother barely recognizes him. But she feeds him well, and he soon grows big enough to sit on his roof and wave to Gran, whose house "on the other side of the world" now seems no farther away than the other side of a river. The whimsical narrative implies that Antonio has to go home to flourish. He gets smaller even as his journey becomes ever richer and more imaginative. The theme-that being away from home is fun but makes travelers feel discombobulated-is clear, but the fact that the author chooses shrinking to express this feeling is somewhat curious. Cneut's stylized acrylic illustrations, however, successfully convey the boy's metaphorical journey and his equally metaphorical diminutive stature. In the end, the story is all about perspective, and how the world can look pretty big through the eyes of a small child.
Catherine Threadgill, Charleston County Public Library, SC
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Book Description Candlewick, 2003. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0763621730
Book Description Candlewick, 2003. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P110763621730