by Peter Sís
Madlenka has a loose tooth. She wants to wiggle that tooth, and she also wants to show it to her friends all around her city block. Her friends include a French baker, a newsstand proprietor from India, an Italian owner of an ice cream truck, and a Latino greengrocer. As she walks around the block, loosening her tooth, she’s welcomed with “hello” in several languages. Children who turn the die-cut pages of this imaginative picture story will travel around the block with Madlenka. They will also travel around the world as Madlenka knows and understands it. They will discover the stories she hears from different nations and cultures. They’ll find creatures real and imaginary. During repeated readings, they’ll notice structures such as the Great Wall of China and tales such as the Bremen Town Musicians. This truly fantastic book is a singular experience for everyone who begins to realize the wider world of neighborhood and community and for all who will grow from Madlenka to Sís’s earlier book, Tibet (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1998). Sís is undoubtedly one of the most imaginative artists in today’s children’s book world. (Ages 4-8)
CCBC Choices 2001. © Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2001. Used with permission.
A trip around a city block is like a trip around the world!
Peeking out through a die-cut window on the jacket, Madlenka invites the reader to enter her world. And what a world it is! On the surface, it looks like an ordinary city block, but as we meet Madlenka's neighbors -- the French baker, the Indian news vendor, the Italian ice-cream man, the Latin American grocer, a retired opera singer from Germany, an African American school friend, and the Asian shopkeeper -- and look through die-cut windows to the images and memories they have carried from old country to new, we can see that Madlenka's block is as richly varied as its inhabitants. And why is Madlenka going around the block, jumping for joy? Her tooth is loose, and she wants everyone to know!
Madlenka is a 2000 New York Times Book Review Notable Children's Book of the Year. This title has Common Core connections.
Publisher description retrieved from Google Books.