ANNA THE BOOKBINDER by Andrea Cheng

ANNA THE BOOKBINDER

by & illustrated by
Age Range: 7 - 9
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KIRKUS REVIEW

Cheng’s (Marika, 2002, etc.) warm tale of a 19th-century bookbinder’s daughter, who courageously tackles an important commission when her father is suddenly called away, gets serene, dignified illustrations from the veteran Rand (Country Kid, City Kid, 2002, etc.). The shop’s biggest customer has threatened to take his business to the industrial binder if Papa can’t finish repairing a leather-bound set in three days—and it looks like he’s going to miss that deadline when Mama goes into labor. So Anna, who has been haunting the binder’s studio for years, carefully waxes a length of string and sets to work. Though what exactly Anna does is not accurately illustrated or well-described, Rand does depict some of a binder’s equipment, and his focus on Anna’s intent face and capable hands brings out the painstaking care she takes in the work. In the end, Anna has not only her weary father’s approval, but a new baby brother and a beautifully bound volume of Aesop’s fables for her very own. The author weaves in references to “The Tortoise and the Hare” to point up differences between work done by hand and by quicker but less reliable machines—a theme that is still relevant, and adds resonance to this intimate family episode. (Picture book. 7-9)

Pub Date: March 15th, 2003
ISBN: 0-8027-8831-9
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Walker
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15th, 2003




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