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Posted August 11, 2011
From the inside flap:
"Why had so many people gathered to watch a barrel plunge over the waterfall? Wouldn't tons of water pouning onto the rocks below have simply broken it to pieces?
And yet there they stood, watching and waiting, holding their breath __ waiting, because they all knew the barrel was not empty!
Come and meet the Queen of the Falls and witness with your own eyes her daring ride!
At the turn of the century, a retired charm school instructor named Annie Edson Taylor, seeking fame and furtune, decided to do soemthing that no one in the world had ever done before -- she would go over Niagrara Falls in a wooden barrel."
What I liked about the book: The illustrations of course. Van Allsburg is one of my favorite illustrators. His drawings are always magically realistic. This one is no exception. I like that it is a true story told in picture book format. Granted the text is longer than most picture books, but it is perfect for a quick introduction to biographies. It would also be good for sparking discussion on people stepping outside their expected roles. Who would ever expect an elderly charm school teacher to take on such an adventure, especially during the early 1900s?
What I didn't like about the book: I'm not sure it will truly appeal to children. Adults, especially teachers, are more likely to appreciate it than students. It's not a book I can envision children snatching off the shelf for an impulse read. They are more likely to read as part of an assignment.
Recommended for 4th grade and up.
Mrs. Archer's Rating: 4 of 5 (though as always, I would give Van Allsburg 5 for the illustrations)!
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Posted March 22, 2011
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