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HALF A WORLD AWAY by Libby Gleeson


by Libby Gleeson & illustrated by Freya Blackwood

Age Range: 3 - 5

Pub Date: March 1st, 2007
ISBN: 0-439-88977-4
Publisher: Levine/Scholastic

Preschoolers Amy and Louie are best friends. Then Amy moves “half a world away,” from Australia to New York City, and the friends miss each other dreadfully. Louie wonders if he calls very loudly, their special “Coo-ee,” Amy will hear him even though even their nights and days are opposite, and they are so very far away. He calls, and his call goes up into clouds that look like dragons and wild seahorses. The clouds float out over the ocean, all the way to New York, where Amy wakes and tells her parents, “I had a lovely dream. . . . I dreamt about Louie and he called me.” Half a world away, Louie smiles in his dream. Gentle pencil-and-watercolor illustrations in shades of blue and brown, with accents of red and generous white space, project an aura of childhood innocence and charm, with just a touch of nostalgia. The theme of friendship and separation is an enduring one, important to young children, and will prompt discussions of friendship, moving away and geography. (Picture book. 3-5)