SIGNS FOR SALE by Michele Benoit Slawson


Age Range: 6 - 8
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With an idealized fidelity that will strike a chord in Norman Rockwell fans, Russian-born Ibatoulline (Crossing, 2001) gives viewers a glimpse of small-town America through the eyes of a traveling electric-sign salesman and his daughter. With samples in their sporty convertible’s back seat and rolled up designs in the trunk, the two start their summer day with a stop at Sophie’s Diner, then it’s on to a market to watch a large sign being lowered onto the roof. The day turns into a special occasion for the young narrator when she seals her first deal, convincing a hard-nut local druggist to take one of the new, lit signboards with removable letters. “Someday I’m going to sell a million signs,” she proclaims as she and her father drive triumphantly away, pumping fists in the air. Despite the differences in age and sex, these two are peas in a pod, alive with that innate optimism that is the true salesperson’s sine qua non: “ ‘Now we’re rolling,’ Papa says. ‘We’re rolling big time,’ I say.” Automobiles and other details set this at least a generation back, but the town itself has a timeless look that echoes the equally timeless closeness between parent and child. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: May 1st, 2001
ISBN: 0-670-03568-8
Page count: 40pp
Publisher: Viking
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15th, 2002


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