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The Paperboy

by Dav Pilkey

Published by Orchard, 1996
32 pages
ISBN: 0-531-09506-1

Ages 3 - 7

On the opening wordless double-page spreads we see a truck leaving the loading dock of the Morning Star Gazette and traveling through residential streets to the house where the paperboy is just getting out of bed. The moon and stars shine brightly in the pitch black sky as the paperboy and his dog go through their early morning rituals of preparing for their route: moving quietly through the house, eating breakfast, and folding newspapers in the garage. The understated, poetic text brilliantly captures the rhythm of routine as Pilkey highlights small but evocative details, such as the snap of green rubber bands and the awkwardness of riding a bicycle while carrying a red cloth bag filled with newspapers. As the paperboy and his dog make their rounds through the dark, familiar streets, the early morning sky gradually lightens. It is streaked with bright orange and pink hues by the time all the newspapers are delivered, and the paperboy must pull down his window shade to shut out the light when he returns to his own warm bed. Pilkey's expressive acrylic paintings playfully use light and dark contrasts to provide a delicious sense of being awake and active in a sleeping world. His paintings carry this mood right through to the story's satisfying conclusion in which we find the paperboy asleep and dreaming in the wide-awake world. CCBC categories: Picture Books.  © Cooperative Children's Book Center

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