Chris Van Allsburg The Sweetest Fig

ISBN 13: 9780395673461

The Sweetest Fig

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9780395673461: The Sweetest Fig

"These figs are very special," the woman whispered. "They can make your dreams come true." -- Thus Monsieur Bibot, the cold-hearted dentist, was given two ordinary-looking figs as payment for extracting a tooth from an old woman's mouth. Monsieur Bibot refused to believe such nonsense and proceeded to eat one of the figs for a bedtime snack. Although it was possibly the finest, sweetest fig he had ever tasted, it wasn't until the next morning that Monsieur Bibot realized it indeed had the power to make his dreams come true. While dragging his poor dog, Marcel, out for his walk, he discovered that his strange dream from the night before was becoming all too real. Determined to make good use of the second fig, Monsieur Bibot learns to control is dreams. But can he control Marcel? Once again Chris Van Allsburg explores the mysterious territory between fantasy and reality in an uncanny tale that will intrigue readers of all ages.

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About the Author:

Chris Van Allsburg is the winner of two Caldecott Medals, for Jumanji and The Polar Express, as well as the recipient of a Caldecott Honor Book for The Garden of Abdul Gasazi. The author and illustrator of numerous picture books for children, he has also been awarded the Regina Medal for lifetime achievement in children’s literature. In 1982, Jumanji was nominated for a National Book Award and in 1996, it was made into a popular feature film. Chris Van Allsburg was formerly an instructor at the Rhode Island School of Design. He lives in Rhode Island with his wife and two children.

From Booklist:

Gr. 3 and up. Van Allsburg's astonishing picture book quietly reveals the uproar beneath the most orderly facade. The protagonist is a villain: that contemporary image of respectability, a dentist. He's neat and very fussy--spectacles, bow tie, receding hairline, pinky finger bent as he eats. And he's cruel ("If his dog, Marcel, jumped on the furniture, Monsieur Bibot was sure to teach him a lesson"). Everything seems extra controlled, in place, fixed, confined. Then comes the torture scene: an old woman with a toothache begs Bibot for help, and, smiling with relish, he holds her down in the dentist's chair and wrenches out her tooth with steel pliers. She can't pay--we see that she's wild-haired and homeless--but she gives him two figs. "They can make your dreams come true," she tells him. Furious, fists clenched, he shoves her out the door and refuses to give her pills for pain. That night he delicately eats one of the figs, and the next day he finds himself walking on the crowded sidewalk in his underwear: what he dreamed, his nightmare, has come true. What's more, the Eiffel Tower has drooped over, and he remembers that he dreamed that, too. Then, determined to take control, he hypnotizes himself to dream of power and wealth and prepares to eat the second fig.

The small white dog that's in the background of almost every Van Allsburg book here takes center stage, but you don't realize it at first. Quiet and long-faced, Marcel is confined by furniture and steep steps, held by collar and leash, watching from the floor as his master eats, always seen from behind or above. But when the master prepares to eat the second fig and dream his heart's desire, there's a dramatic reversal. The man turns his back; the dog rises up from the floor and gobbles the fig. The next morning the two are on the floor, but the man is the dog, and it's Marcel who orders, "Time for your walk."

The detailed, soft-textured pictures in shades of brown and white have the appearance of framed sepia photographs, with dramatic close-ups as well as an extraordinary sense of depth. Their realistic use of light and changing perspective makes the fantasy story an integral part of the everyday. The surreal view of the tower and its sharp antenna, bent over toward Bibot like a dentist's drill, shocks you into realizing that you've always known it could do that, that this most permanent of soaring landmarks also appears fragile and strange. Van Allsburg's vision makes you aware of what you didn't know you feared.

Children will recognize the terror, the mystery, and the delicious dream of reversal. It depends on how you see it: your nightmare may be my dearest wish. Hazel Rochman

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Book Description HOUGHTON MIFFLIN, United States, 1993. Hardback. Book Condition: New. None.. 277 x 224 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. These figs are very special, the woman whispered. They can make your dreams come true. Thus Monsieur Bibot, the cold-hearted dentist, was given two ordinary-looking figs as payment for extracting a tooth from an old woman s mouth. Monsieur Bibot refused to believe such nonsense and proceeded to eat one of the figs for a bedtime snack. Although it was possibly the finest, sweetest fig he had ever tasted, it wasn t until the next morning that Monsieur Bibot realized it indeed had the power to make his dreams come true. While dragging his poor dog, Marcel, out for his walk, he discovered that his strange dream from the night before was becoming all too real. Determined to make good use of the second fig, Monsieur Bibot learns to control his dreams. But can he control Marcel? Once again Chris Van Allsburg explores the mysterious territory between fantasy and reality in an uncanny tale that will intrigue readers of all ages. Bookseller Inventory # AAS9780395673461

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Book Description HOUGHTON MIFFLIN, United States, 1993. Hardback. Book Condition: New. None.. 277 x 224 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. These figs are very special, the woman whispered. They can make your dreams come true. Thus Monsieur Bibot, the cold-hearted dentist, was given two ordinary-looking figs as payment for extracting a tooth from an old woman s mouth. Monsieur Bibot refused to believe such nonsense and proceeded to eat one of the figs for a bedtime snack. Although it was possibly the finest, sweetest fig he had ever tasted, it wasn t until the next morning that Monsieur Bibot realized it indeed had the power to make his dreams come true. While dragging his poor dog, Marcel, out for his walk, he discovered that his strange dream from the night before was becoming all too real. Determined to make good use of the second fig, Monsieur Bibot learns to control his dreams. But can he control Marcel? Once again Chris Van Allsburg explores the mysterious territory between fantasy and reality in an uncanny tale that will intrigue readers of all ages. Bookseller Inventory # AAS9780395673461

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Book Description Hardcover. Book Condition: New. New. This item is new unopened, never used and still in its original manufacturer condition. Tracking number will be provided to you so that you may track your order (for all USA orders). Bookseller Inventory # 9352685

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