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The Year I Didn't Go to School

by Giselle Potter

Published by An Anne Schwartz Book / Atheneum, 2002
32 pages
ISBN: 0-689-84730-0

Ages 5 - 8

Artist Giselle Potter first appeared on the children's book illustration scene in the late 1990s, and her lively, quirky, distinctive style became immediately recognizable. Now, she gives children a glimpse into the childhood that no doubt helped foster her development as an artist in The Year I Didn't Go To School, an autobiographical picture book chronicling the year that seven-year-old Giselle and her younger sister, ChloŽ (also an artist today), performed as part of their parents puppet theater company throughout Italy. The Mystic Paper Beasts traveled in and lived out of an old wooden carnival truck. Giselle and ChloŽ were part of each performance in theaters and on street corners. From a run-in with dour police to helpful nuns who pushed when the truck got stuck between two buildings in a narrow street, it was one adventure after another throughout the year. At the heart of it all was their family: two artistic and creative parents who fostered two artistic and creative little girls. In a brief author's note Potter provides additional context for her extraordinary year abroad, and also reveals that the lively, childish drawings on the endpapers of this engaging volume are excerpts from the journal she kept throughout her year in Italy as a child. CCBC categories: Picture Books For Older Children.  © Cooperative Children's Book Center

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