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My Valley

3.94  ·  Rating details ·  143 Ratings  ·  35 Reviews
In My Valley, Claude Ponti leads us on a journey through an enchanted world inhabited by "Touims" (tiny, adorable, monkey-like creatures), secret tree dwellings, flying buildings, and sad giants. Clever language and beautifully detailed maps of imaginary landscapes will delight children and adults alike. Ponti himself has said, "My stories are like fairytales, always situa ...more
Hardcover, 42 pages
Published March 7th 2017 by Elsewhere Editions (first published November 18th 1998)
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Apr 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I’ve written a lot about the state of translated children’s books in America lately. It is what it is. Generally speaking, Americans can be a bit cagey when it comes to literature for kids from other countries. Either we’re weirded out by the art, or the storyline doesn’t meet our expectations. It’s so peculiar. So odd. So . . . outlandish! So the fact that Archipelago Books deemed 2017 the year to debut their new imprint Elsewhere Editions (“devoted to translating imaginative works of children’ ...more
Poochie-Blue is a "twim" and lives with his family in the House Tree on the Blue Cliffs. Along the book Poochie-Blue shows the reader the valley, his house and family, and many fantastic stories about the place. There is not really a plot. Nothing is really going on. The text is that description. Some ideas are very funny, my favorite being "the magic puddle", which is actually a door you can go in and then come out through any of the other of the puddles. The magic puddle looks just like the re ...more
Jan 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A gorgeous and whimsical children's book that held my restless 21-month old son under its spell, page after page. The illustrations are strange, wonderful, spellbinding. The book is gigantic, adding to the feeling of literally falling into its world. A real beauty and a new imprint by Archipelago Books that will enchant young readers and collectors.
Bruce Gargoyle
I received a copy of this title from the publisher via Netgalley.

Ten Second Synopsis:
A whimsical journey into a fantasy woodland world.

It's not a bad book by any means, just one in which I could not find a point of purchase from which to engage with the story.

I have a rather sketchy relationship with books translated from the French, admittedly. This book is aimed at around about the 6 to 10 age group, with large pictures surrounded by short paragraphs of text. There is no coherent overall story
Marjorie Ingall
Dec 31, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: kids-4-8, kids-6-10
Eh, not my bag. The art's beautiful and I love the huge trim size -- it feels really SUBSTANTIAL -- but I didn't care a whit about the story and wasn't sucked in by the art, as much as I admired it intellectually. In general, I tend not to care much about animal protagonists (this is just me!) (though hm, I'm fine with animals when they're REALLY REALLY HUMAN and soulful and engaged in an emotional struggle against their own the Hobans' Frances). And I found the whole narrative not- ...more
What a curious book. There's no story or plot, really, it's just a look into the life of an imaginary creature called a Twims. I don't know what the point is (or if there is one at all) but I'm pretty sure I had books like this as a kid, where they were just exercises in imagination. It reminded me a little of "The Minpins" by Roald Dahl.
Oct 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Cute story, little wild and weirdy Twims, gorgeous illustrations.
Jul 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017, picture-books
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
An original picture book done in chapters, describing life in "My Valley."
Fun language, with unexpected phrases such as "House Tree" instead of Tree House; unexpected characters, such as the Children Who Fell From the Sky; and interesting places in the valley, such as the Theater of Hissy Fits.
Detailed illustrations are barely contained on hugely oversized pages.
Youngsters could create stories describing their own Valley of life.
Mar 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
This imaginative picture book tells the story of the Twims, a type of creature that lives in a specific valley. One Twims narrates the book, explaining life in the valley. He lives in a House Tree up on the cliffs. He has many siblings, a mother and a father and two sets of grandparents. He plays games in the woods, watches all sorts of weather arrive, including once children falling from a house picked up by a hurricane. Twims use theater to get over feeling angry, have a cemetery with grave ma ...more
Jan 10, 2018 rated it did not like it
Shelves: pb-imagination
The pictures really are pretty - the one showing a cutaway view of the tree the Twims family lives in would have rocked my 8-year-old world - but this was just entirely too trippy for me. I had trouble following the jumpiness of the little stories, & there was waaaay too little explanation & exposition for my taste. Most of the other reviewers seem really to have liked it though...
Esther May
This book was fine, but I don't want to read it again. I think children's books should make the reader want to read it again. Not my favorite. My kids enjoyed it more than I did, but I am still giving it a 2 star rating.
Sep 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Poetic, philosophical and utterly original in its world building - unlike anything you or your child has seen! A must have for any library.
Nov 30, 2016 rated it did not like it
A completely inconsequential pile of oddness. Yes, the artwork is fine, but the text is just fractured sections of script, narrative-free details of the most bizarre kind. Frustrating.
Jennifer Strong
Aug 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018, children-s
Feb 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
This is a very quirky picture book. Not for everyone, but I have a feeling that some children will really engage with it.
Carrie Schindele Cupples
May 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-for-kids
This library book checkout became a request to "please I need a copy for me to keep".
Katherine Rue
Jun 01, 2017 rated it it was ok
Disappointingly twee.
Jun 10, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-books
This large format picture book has colorful detailed illustrations of exotic creatures in a magical land and a text describing the everyday lives of the creatures. Ages 4-8
Kid Lit Reviews
My Valley is the home of the Twims—little, furry, honey bear-like critters, who live in a “house tree.” This house tree is located on a ridge of the most beautiful valley. Poochie-Blue is our tour guide. He is part of a large extended family; with four brothers, four sisters, parents, and two sets of grandparents all living in the family house tree. After a tour of his house tree—cavernous, comfortable, and often strange—Poochie-Blue takes us on a yearlong tour of My Valley.

Children who have the
Amy Lafleur
Imaginative book about the Twims (a kind of creature that is kind of like a little bear with a tail or squirrel or rodent). In this tale, Poochie-Blue, a Twim, tells you about his valley and family. There's lots to look at in the large detailed illustrations in this amusing book that is translated from French.
Mary Librarian
A fantasy world populated by Twims.
Lisbeth Davies
Dec 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is an absolutely beautiful book; the prose (cleverly translated by Alyson Waters) and illustrations combine to create a beguiling world in which to totally immerse yourself.

The English translation in print is due to be published in March 2017, I'm definitely going to wait to buy that for a birthday gift (8 year old grandson) rather than the digital version. I'm almost exclusively digital now but this is a book that needs to be held for long and short periods while a child's imagination soar
I received this arc from Netgalley for an honest review.
While the illustrations in this book are simply amazing, I am not sure what the story is about. I understand it is about some woodland creatures, but I'm not sure that it has a beginning or and end. It almost felt informational, about a fiction character.
Sarah Peterman
Dec 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley, 2016
The illustrations are beautiful. I loved the image of the tree, with all the descriptions, and the map. This is a world to get lost in.
Dec 22, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: kids_ya, arc
European children's picture books can just get weird sometimes. :D
Dec 06, 2016 marked it as to-read
Note: I accessed digital review copies of this book through Edelweiss and NetGalley.
Roseann Podias
rated it liked it
Dec 30, 2017
Lisa Houlihan
Charming. I can see a child writing and drawing stories based on this highly detailed, delightful, magical place and its inhabitants.
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Claude Ponti is a prolific author, painter, and illustrator, known for his humorous explorations of the nonsense world of dreams. His first picture book, Adele’s Album, was created to amuse his young daughter; he has since authored more than sixty children’s books. On a personal note, Claude says: "I’m left-handed; I prefer cats to dogs (they don’t lick people); and I’m not a vegetarian because I ...more
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