I haven’t been reading many picture books in recent months, but I’m really glad I read this one.
The pictures are wonderful. They sophisticated and fun...moreI haven’t been reading many picture books in recent months, but I’m really glad I read this one.
The pictures are wonderful. They sophisticated and fun, and I think they’re beautiful. I love the colors, the details, and the art style, which is reminiscent of the Impressionists.
The story is maybe a little too simplistic, but it does illustrate a fine point, and I did smile at the end, and I enjoyed the story. It’s definitely one I’d recommend for enjoyment and for lessons about how we’re all interdependent and that everything we do can have a greater influence on others, and ourselves too. (It’s a sort of version of the Butterfly Effect.) I also appreciated how there are scenes from around the world.
For me, it worked on every level. I found it very entertaining and emotionally touching.
I wish this book had been out when a friend had her daughter Amelia over 22 years ago. It would have made a great gift. I think Amelia Bedelia were the only Amelia books we could find at the time.
As I was reading this, most of the way through, no matter how much I was enjoying it, and I was, particularly my 10 year old self, I was thinking how...moreAs I was reading this, most of the way through, no matter how much I was enjoying it, and I was, particularly my 10 year old self, I was thinking how I couldn’t give the book 5 stars. Unlike some middle grade books, it felt very middle grade, so I had to suspend disbelief quite a few times, and there were just too many unbelievable coincidences, but the story and characters are great, the writing is very good, the reader is likely to learn a lot about the Holocaust and art history and art, and it’s such a unique NYC story, taking place in NYC but with some highly unusual lifestyle details for that location. Also, everything came together so nicely by the end, which was very satisfying for my 9-12 year old self. So, I’m deducting only ½ star for its flaws. 4 ½ stars
Theo is a delightful character, and most of the characters are very interesting. I really enjoyed the historical parts of the story, and the non-fiction information about art, and I found it interesting how some of the events covered have been the subject of recent (for adults and teens, not kids) movies.
This would have probably been a favorite of mine if I’d read it between the ages of 9 and 12. I highly recommend this book to girls ages 9 or 10 through 12, especially those interested in art, art history, history, the Holocaust, WWII, and NYC. It’s great fun, poignant, and suspenseful. (less)
It’s been months since I’ve read much, unfortunately, and even though I keep adding books to my to read list, most languish there. My friend Chrissie...moreIt’s been months since I’ve read much, unfortunately, and even though I keep adding books to my to read list, most languish there. My friend Chrissie has given me some wonderful book suggestions. The books I’ve read, I’ve liked a lot. Many of her recommendations remain on my to read shelf. This one, I read almost as soon as I learned of it, and I’m so glad that I did.
This book contains two short novellas. I borrowed the book to read the second one “Oscar and the Lady in Pink” but since the book came with the other novella, I decided to read that too, especially after Chrissie said it was an even better book, and I also liked that story slightly more, so I feel very lucky both were in one book.
As an lifelong atheist, I wouldn’t have thought I’d have liked these stories, because they basically ask the reader to believe in god, but I found them enchanting, maybe because even more, they ask the reader to believe in life, with all its suffering and its pleasures, and all told with a perspicacious sense of humor. They’re among the most life affirming stories I’ve ever read. I wasn’t 100% wild about the very ending of the second novella but my displeasure wasn’t enough reduce my star rating.
I’m so mad at myself that I didn’t note and mark down quotes as I read. There are so many beautifully communicated lines.
“Monsieur Ibrahim and the Flowers of the Koran”:
This is incredibly special. I found it delightful and so sad and so very hilarious too. In its relatively small number of pages it somehow is able to look deeply into a friendship and into other relationships as well, and do so over many years. It’s a skillfully and beautifully told story. At times it broke my heart, it touched me throughout, and ultimately I found it incredibly uplifting. I’m so glad I came upon it in the same book as the novella I wanted to read. There are so many layers to this story. It’s a real gem.
“Oscar and the Lady in Pink”:
Great idea! Great minor twist at the end. As with the first novella, it’s very sad and very funny. Sometimes at the most somber times there would appear a line that had me burst into laughter. Another gem, and I love cancer stories so this one was right up my alley.
I don’t want to say too much about either book. I’m glad I knew very little about the stories before I read the book, just enough of each one to whet my desire to read them.
This book would be an excellent choice for my read world book club. We’re often looking for shorter books and always looking for books of substance. I read quickly, one novella one day and the other one the next day, and yet I was able to fully savor both.(less)