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by Jeannie Baker

Published by U.S. edition: Candlewick Press, 2010
40 pages
ISBN: 978-0-7636-4848-0

Ages 6 - 10

Two interconnected stories comprise this innovative picture book about two boys in different parts of the world. One lives in Australia and one lives in Morocco. An introduction in both English and Arabic precedes each wordless visual narrative. The story set in Australia unfolds in pages that turn from right to left, and the story set in Morocco unfolds in pages that turn from left to right in this ingeniously designed work in which the two stories are meant to be read side-by side (they are separately bound on the far right and left edges of the two covers). In each story, the boys are seen starting the day at home with their families and then accompanying their fathers on errands. For the boy in Morocco, this involves a trip by donkey to a market to sell the rug his mother has woven. For the boy in Australia, it’s running around the city by car picking up various home improvement items, including a beautiful new carpet—the same one the Moroccan mother wove. Jeannie Baker’s intricate collage illustrations capture the crowded cityscape in Australia, the openness of the Moroccan landscape, and the abundance of choices found in both “Hardware Planet” and a Moroccan bazaar with equal skill and delight. They also convey the love and warmth in each of the boy’s families in this singular picture book that includes a brief essay by Baker explaining her inspiration for the story and offering insight into how she created the art.  © Cooperative Children's Book Center

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