Dear Book Lovers, Welcome! I am delighted that you have found The Through the Looking Glass blog. For over twenty years I reviewed children's literature titles for my online journal, which came out six times a year. Every book review written for that publication can be found on the Through the Looking Glass website (the link is below). I am now moving in a different direction, though the columns that I write are still book-centric. Instead of writing reviews, I'm offering you columns on topics that have been inspired by wonderful books that I have read. I tell you about the books in question, and describe how they have have impacted me. This may sound peculiar to some of you, but the books that I tend to choose are ones that resonate with me on some level. Therefore, when I read the last page and close the covers, I am not quite the same person that I was when first I started reading the book. The shift in my perspective might be miniscule, but it is still there. The books I am looking are both about adult and children's titles. Some of the children's titles will appeal to adults, while others will not. Some of the adult titles will appeal to younger readers, particularly those who are eager to expand their horizons.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Picture Book Monday - A review of Thing-Thing

I have always liked books that are about stuffed animals. Pooh Bear, Dougal, Polar, Bumbletum, and Willow are just a few of the wonderful stuffed animals that you can get to know in books. In today's picture book you will meet a stuffed animal that is a little different, and who has a big adventure on the very day that it leaves the toy shop. 

Cary Fagan
Illustrated by Nicolas Debon
Picture Book
For ages 5 to 7
Tundra, 2008, 978-0-88776-839-2
   It is Archibald Crimp’s birthday, and as a special treat, his parents have taken him to the city. Though his hotel room is full of wonderful gifts, Archibald is a not a happy boy. Instead, he is upset because his gifts are not unique enough, and he refuses to get out of bed until his parents give him “something I like.”
   Poor Archibald’s father goes to the toy store near the hotel and after much searching, he finds a very strange looking stuffed animal. It is not a cat, or a dog, or a bunny, or a bear. According to the tag, it is a Thing-Thing. Not knowing what else to do, Archibald’s father buys the Thing-Thing and he takes it back to the hotel.
   I am sorry to say that Archibald does not appreciate the gift he is given at all. In fact, he behaves very badly, throwing Thing-Thing out of the hotel window. Poor Thing-Thing has always hoped that it would be given to a child who would love it, who would play with and snuggle it. Instead, it gets thrown out of window; a sixth floor window.
   As it falls down, down, and down, Thing-Thing is seen by the people on the fifth, fourth, third, and second floors. In turn, Thing-Thing catches glimpses of the people on those floors, and for a tiny moment it is a part of their lives.
   In this unique and memorable picture book, we meet a stuffed animal that ends up, in a very short period of time, touching the lives of several people. Readers will be able to enjoy following Thing-Things progress, and they will rejoice when they see how the stuffed animal’s story ends. How gratifying it is to have this kind of warm happy ending in a world that often is grim and sad.

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