Ruby was made in 1934 by Austin Motor Company—she's shiny, she's beautiful, and this is her story Gorgeously illustrated with pictures so intricate they can occupy readers for hours, this is the story of Ruby, a beloved vintage car that once belonged to author Colin Thompson in real life. While flipping through the pages of the lavish interior, enjoy all the colorful details, but be sure to pay attention! There are clues to the six letters and numbers that make up Ruby's license plate number hidden throughout the book, and readers are encouraged to join in on finding them as they learn where Ruby comes from and what makes her unique.
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Colin Thompson has received several awards, including an Aurealis Award for the novel How to Live Forever and the CBC Picture Book of the Year for The Short and Incredibly Happy Life of Riley. He is also the author of The Big Little Book of Happy Sadness, The Dragons series, The Floods series, and Free to a Good Home. He has been short-listed for many other awards, including the Astrid Lindgren Award—the most prestigious children's literature prize in the world.From School Library Journal:
Grade 2 Up-This latest picture book by an innovative artist features two stories, dazzling illustrations, and a contest, all centered around a 1934 Austin Seven automobile named Ruby. A family of two-inch tall people try to rescue a fifth member who is trapped in a briefcase on the floor of the car as its owners head for home from a picnic. While all this is happening, a two-inch panel across the top of each page shows the history of the car itself as it is purchased and embarks on worldwide travels of Stonehenge, the Great Wall of China, and other landmarks. Finally Ruby is abandoned and restored. As in Looking for Atlantis (Knopf, 1994), Thompson's illustrations are filled with fascinating details and clever puns (which some kids won't get). To enter the contest, readers must find Ruby's license-plate number hidden in the pictures and send in the entry blank attached to the dust jacket (or a hand printed 3x5 card instead). A random drawing will produce the winner of an actual Austin Seven. The contest is promoted on the first page and back cover as well; with a deadline of September 1995, the tie-in becomes meaningless in less than a year. This promotion is generally annoying, and detracts from an otherwise interesting book. Graeme Base's Eleventh Hour (Abrams, 1989) is still a better picture mystery, but Thompson's artistic style and sense of humor make Ruby worth considering, despite the gimmick.
Steven Engelfried, West Lynn Library, OR
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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