ONCE UPON A COMPANY by Wendy Anderson Halperin


A True Story
Age Range: 5 - 9
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Halperin (When Chicken Grow Teeth, 1996, etc.) offers an ode to young entrepreneurs who happen to be her children, and the involvement of relatives, neighbors, and friends. Joel, Lane, and Kale collectively narrate how the November doldrums in rural coniferous Michigan led to their starting a business with the clippings from a neighbor’s Christmas tree farm. The business became the College Fund Wreath Company, intended to earn money for the children’s educations. It starts out as a modest affair, with a sideline during the summer months in a lemonade stand, but grows and grows until it is a full-fledged enterprise renting out space downtown, filling wholesale orders, taking on employees. The folksy tone and endearing details hold interest, and the can- do attitude is borne out by the results—$16,000 taken in as the book closes on a helpful glossary. The illustrations—delicate, vivacious clusters of pencil-and-watercolor images of people working—generate a light of their own, turning each righthand page into a multi-framed visual telling that enhances the anecdotes and intrigue of the text on the left. (Picture book. 5-9)

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1998
ISBN: 0-531-30089-7
Page count: 40pp
Publisher: Orchard
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1st, 1998


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