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The Silver Button

by Bob Graham

Published by U.S. edition: Candlewick Press, 2013
32 pages
ISBN: 978-0-7636-6437-4

Ages 3-6

With elegant mastery, author/illustrator Bob Graham suspends a single moment in time across almost the entire thirty-two pages of this picture book. As Jodie is about to add the final button to the duck’s boot in her drawing, her little brother Jonathan pushes himself up. “He swayed, he frowned, he tilted forward … and took his first step.” As Jonathan takes that step, other things are happening all over town. In the next room, the children’s mother plays her penny whistle. A pigeon nests under the roof outside, and one of its feathers floats gently past the window. A jogger passes by on the sidewalk, an ambulance on the street. One block away, “a soldier said good-bye to his mom.” In the park, Sophie and her granddad made a house of leaves. At Mercy Hospital, a baby was born. Graham offers a wider and wider angle on a moment that is both monumental and ordinary, and then pulls the focus tight again: “Then down came Jonathan on his little pink knees.” Carefully chosen details and wonderful pacing distinguish the thoughtful narrative, while Graham’s warm, lively illustrations are full of tenderness and whimsy. Highly Commended, 2014 Charlotte Zolotow Award  © Cooperative Children's Book Center


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