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Posts Tagged ‘1940s’

21 BalloonsTitle: The Twenty-One Balloons

Author: William Pène du Bois

Newbery 1948

I ended this book with a very large question mark over my head.  It made very little sense, and was not even a good enough ‘rollicking adventure’ to make its nonsensical nature okay.  An American ex-pat community on Krakatoa is based on a socialist restaurant system whose premier technology is hydrogen balloons and steam engines?  This community is saved from the eruption via balloon?  You see my problem.  If you like imagined cultural systems with strange provenances, read The Solitaire Mystery by Jostein Gaarder – his is pretty strange, but a lot more fun and a lot better thought out.

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LittleIslandTitle: The Little Island

Illustrator: Leonard Weisgard

Author: Golden MacDonald (Margaret Wise Brown)

Caldecott 1947

This is a sweet, if somewhat strange, little story.  A kitten and an island debate their relative sizes?  The illustrations are well-done, if very much of their time.  Not jaw-dropping or anything, but nicely done paintings with lots of fun little stuff to search for (great for reading with a little kid!)  The colors are muted and the style is very strongly 1940s-50s – sort of simplified realism. This would also be a book to read with a child before a trip to an island, because of the discussion of the island’s connection to the rest of the land.

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