Onward is Best, A Christmas Journey

 
9780983886921: Onward is Best, A Christmas Journey
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In the delightful book, Onward is Best, A Christmas Journey, the story's main character, Dolly, a small wooden toy doll with wild, red hair, is afraid to go to a strange child's home on Christmas where she may, or may not be loved. She would rather stay with Santa at the North Pole where she knows she is cared for. As she is about to be led with the other toys into the Wrapping Room she escapes into the night where she plans to hide through Christmas. Santa would then certainly allow her to stay. Yet she soon gets lost in the snowy landscape, jumps through a hole in the night and begins a series of adventures with a group of odd, new friends. It calls to mind The Wizard of Oz Series as well as Alice in Wonderland. Dolly's own journey takes her from Santa's Workshop through Paper Land, Popcorn Land, Metal Land, Teddy Bear Land, Wood Land and Desolation Land. The full color illustrations for this read-aloud tale feature a series of meticulously detailed, 3D sets, each a handmade miniature landscape crafted from vintage and found varieties of paper, wood, metal and fabric, as well as popcorn and natural materials. With Onward is Best, young children can explore these enchanting sets while the story is being read to them. Readers experience Dolly's foolishness, bravery, loyalty, and risk-taking as she learns to count on others to help her push through the unknown. To craft her Yuletide tale, Linquist drew upon her childhood. "Growing up in Chicago", she wrote, "I was treated to an annual December trip downtown to see the Christmas windows at Marshall Fields. I have a vivid memory of plastering my face to the cold glass and blocking out all of the world with my hands until I was IN the enchanted, sparkly world the window designer had created". With Onward is Best: A Christmas Journey, Ms. Linquist has created equally enchanting worlds for today s children to explore.

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About the Author:

Sarah Jean Linquist (1951-2010) grew up in Park Ridge, Illinois, the youngest of four artist-writer sisters. With a degree in Fine Arts and Communications from Antioch College, Sarah moved to St. Louis, Missouri, in 1973, with her husband-to-be, artist and musician Robert Fishbone. Their mural painting company, ON THE WALL PRODUCTIONS, has produced over 150 site-specific artworks in five states including the landmark Lindy Squared. In 1988 Linquist was hired by the St. Louis Municipal Opera as a scenic painter; she was named director of the scenic Art Department in 1998 and served as The Muny's Master Scenic Artist for the rest of her life. Ms. Linquist's whimsical approach, coupled with her exceptional artistic skills, generated high public and private demand for her murals and installations. She exhibited studio work in New York and St. Louis galleries. She also helped to design over 200 art-related products sold in museums and eclectic gift shops in 20 countries, including the iconic Scream inflatable. After a diagnosis of ovarian cancer in 2006, Ms. Linquist began writing the story and creating the unique, hand-made settings for Onward is Best: A Christmas Journey. She worked on her book for four years until her death in 2010. Over the course of the next year, her husband, Robert Fishbone, their two children, her three sisters, a niece, and a circle of friends joined forces to complete and publish the heirloom quality book.

Review:

I really loved Onward is Best, A Christmas Journey--- it's a great story and the illustrations are amazing! Do you have any idea how hard it is to come up with a new Christmas story that won't fade away after one season?? Sarah Linquist has done it with her enchanting book, Onward Is Best; A Christmas Journey. It's the tale of a little red-headed doll who is afraid to leave everything she knows and loves at Santa's workshop at the North Pole, only to find herself on a journey where she discovers her own inventiveness, bravery and a wonderful ability to make friends and try new things. It's a marvelous story, made even more amazing by Sarah's illustrations --- huge 3-D sets made of vintage and found items, and populated by all kinds of creatures, including one country full of Teddy Bears! Every child will relate to Sarah's meticulous invention of her own imagined world, and the inspiring message that you can get through anything with just a little help from your friends! Mary Engelbreit --Mary Engelbreit

ONWARD IS BEST In this holiday offering, sincere (yet anxiety-prone) Dolly runs away from Santa s warehouse to avoid possible rejection on Christmas morning. Dolly is a toy with an inferiority complex. She is terrified that she won t make her new owner happy. Shocked that her fellow toys are so willing to enter the unknown of the Wrapping Room, Dolly disappears into the night. In Dorothy Gale like fashion, she meets a number of fanciful characters on her journey through Paper Land, Metal Land and Teddy Bear Land. Ultimately, Dolly decides her own fate with these new friends by her side. Artist and debut author Linquist creates a charming tale of a little doll who, like many schoolchildren, worries about being loved and accepted in a foreign environment. Linquist, who died of ovarian cancer in 2010, couldn't complete the book, but her sisters collaborated to make her vision a reality. Dolly's story comes alive through collage, photography and computer-generated art.... So many Christmas books center on the thrill of opening a new toy or the excitement of being that wished-for toy that it is refreshing to view this event through new eyes. An attractive book for the patient and thoughtful young reader. --Kirkus Reviews

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