WHEN I WAS BUILT by Jennifer Thermes


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Age Range: 6 - 8
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Thermes introduces a contemporary of Virginia Lee Burton’s Little House (1942) in this perspicuous, low-key debut. Alternating “then” with “now,” an old farmhouse contrasts its isolated first years and family with the helter-skelter present ones. The differences are many: the plumbing has moved indoors; food comes from stores or restaurants; “quiet evenings together, talking or reading or telling stories” have given way to “television sets that light up the night with noise and chatter.” But not everything has changed: people then as now make an effort to recycle what they have, and children “gaze out my windows and wonder about what changes the future would bring.” Glowing scenes of cheery-faced figures drawn with a fine pen and bright, lightly applied colors lighten the house’s mildly grumpy tone, and the different paces of past and present are contrasted in ways more soothing than jarring. A charming way to introduce readers to the days before cell phones, shopping malls, and air travel. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 2001
ISBN: 0-8050-6532-6
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Henry Holt
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15th, 2001


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