13 Words

13 Words

3.3 9
by Lemony Snicket, Maira Kalman
     
 

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From bestselling author Lemony Snicket and celebrated illustrator Maira Kalman comes an uproarious, whimsical word book like no other.

Together, Snicket and Kalman present a strikingly beautiful journey woven from a practical introduction to thirteen wonderful words, featuring such marvels as Bird, Dog, Panache, and Haberdashery. Snicket, the notoriously clever

Overview

From bestselling author Lemony Snicket and celebrated illustrator Maira Kalman comes an uproarious, whimsical word book like no other.

Together, Snicket and Kalman present a strikingly beautiful journey woven from a practical introduction to thirteen wonderful words, featuring such marvels as Bird, Dog, Panache, and Haberdashery. Snicket, the notoriously clever and elusive New York Times bestselling author, pushes the boundaries of storytelling in the most fanciful of ways. Maira Kalman, renowned for her art and design, carries this madcap adventure to wondrous heights with her vision of a world populated with hats, song, and cake. This rollicking, surprising book is a true celebration of words.

Editorial Reviews

ALA Booklist
“A book that pushes boundaries and demands such active participation on the part of both readers and listeners to connect language and images (and Kalman’s quirky artwork is a perfect fit, littered with fun details) is to be commended.”
Time Out New York Kids
“13 Words is a winning combination of Lemony Snicket’s wry narrative tone and Maira Kalman’s droll pictures.”
Publishers Weekly
Based on an unlucky number of key words and authored by someone who takes pleasure in unfortunate events, this volume conjures a sense of foreboding. "Word Number 1: Bird" introduces the central character, and the accompanying illustration pictures a royal-blue bird perched on a linen tablecloth, in a yellow-and-pink dining room that might have been painted by Matisse. The bird's eye droops sadly, whereupon readers turn to "Word Number 2: Despondent" and "Word Number 3: Cake," an item that might alleviate a bird's ennui, at least temporarily. Despite ominous beginnings, the proceedings turn upbeat with the arrival of a chic "Word Number 4: Dog," who concocts witty diversions for the gloomy bird. Kalman's eccentric gouaches elevate the wintry mood; the dog, with his sly grin, resembles Kalman's Max, particularly when he tries on hats at "Word Number 9: Haberdashery." Sprinkled with additional vocab words like "spiffy" and featuring surreal landscapes in ice-cream hues, this word-association game recalls Kalman's solo productions. The conclusion, however, belongs to Snicket, because "the bird, to tell you the truth, is still a little despondent." All ages. (Oct.)
Children's Literature - Heidi Hauser Green
Readers young enough for picture books are unlikely to know Lemony Snicket from Daniel Handler's "A Series of Unfortunate Events," so the use of that penname for this volume is vaguely perplexing. Still, perhaps it will serve as a warning to parents who have older children in addition to picture bookreaders that this is likely to be (at least) slightly gloomy and a bit unusual. Surely, librarians will know to expect something out of the ordinary from this author. Namely, they should expect a story that includes words outside the typical elementary lexicon, such as "haberdashery," "panache," "mezzo-soprano," and "despondent." They should also expect an imaginative animal tale that breaks the mold and includes some odd characters, such as a bird, a dog, a gigantic baby, and a goat. Readers are advised singing the last pages of the book in their best faux-operatic voice will result in maximum fun. (Many children will join in.) Reviewer: Heidi Hauser Green
School Library Journal
K-Gr 2—The 13 words that are the basis for this sophisticated picture book are "bird," "despondent," "cake," "dog," "busy," "convertible," "goat," "hat," "haberdashery," "scarlet," "baby," "panache," and "mezzo-soprano." Each word is listed at the top of the page spread where it is featured, and the story continues on. The despondent bird lives with the dog and the mezzo-soprano. The dog, in an effort to cheer up his friend, goes for a ride with the goat to the haberdashery to pick up a hat for the bird. Upon returning home with the gift, the dog tells the mezzo-soprano about their day, and she commences to sing out the plot of the book. While not standard picture-book fare, there are moments of silliness (the owner of the haberdashery is a baby) and joy (all kinds of cake). The artwork is trademark Kalman: playful, colorful, and filled with surprises. Best for one-on-one reading, 13 Words could also be used as a model for primary-grade children to write their own stories featuring a list of seemingly unrelated words.—Stacy Dillon, LREI, New York City
Kirkus Reviews

"WORD NUMBER 1: Bird. / The bird sits on the table." A modest start, perhaps, but the gorgeous, Matisse-like, gelato-colored spread drips in mystery. The table legs, for example, are sprouting leaves. "WORD NUMBER 2: Despondent." Poor bird. She's now standing atop Mushy Peas, next to a Kafka book. Happily, she finds cake, which is WORD NUMBER 3. The story--and it is actually a winsome story of friendship--proceeds thus, with a Snicketian 13 words in all, including 4) dog (who wants to cheer up his feathered friend, probably with a hat); 5) busy; 6) convertible; 7) goat; 8) hat; 9) haberdashery; 10) scarlet; 11) baby; 12) panache; and 13) mezzo-soprano. Snicket and Kalman are perfectly matched here, both revelers in life's delicious (mmm... cake) details and things best left unexplained... such as why the bird has to paint 11 ladders in ten colors, why the scarlet-doored haberdashery's owner is a baby and why the bird never stops feeling despondent, despite her new hat that has so very much panache. This charming chef-d'oeuvre sings like a mezzo-soprano. (Picture book. 3-10)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780061664670
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
09/09/2014
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
40
Sales rank:
166,953
Product dimensions:
8.30(w) x 10.70(h) x 0.10(d)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

Lemony Snicket had an unusual education which may or may not explain his ability to evade capture. He is the author of the 13 volumes in A Series of Unfortunate Events, several picture books including The Dark, and the books collectively titled All The Wrong Questions.

Maira Kalman is an author and illustrator of numerous books for adults and children. She is a contributor to The New Yorker and the New York Times. Born in Tel Aviv, she lives in New York City.

Brief Biography

Hometown:
Snicket is something of a nomad. Handler lives in San Francisco, California.
Date of Birth:
February 28, 1970
Place of Birth:
Handler was born in San Francisco in 1970, and says Snicket's family has roots in a land that's now underwater.
Education:
Handler is a 1992 graduate of Wesleyan University in Connecticut.
Website:
http://www.lemonysnicket.com

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13 Words 3.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Even though it is a little confusing it is a great book. If you are interested in Lemony Snicket you should read this book. You should also read A Series of Unfortunate Events!! Lemony snicket you rule!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Since so many of the reviews on this book are just questions instead of reviews and dragging the rating down, I will tell you that my four-year-old loved this book. We checked it out of the library and the illustrations are kind of folksy and the story is a little quirky but fun. As a bonus, my four-year-old now knows what the word despondent means.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My daughter jusr finished kindergarten but even in pre k this was one of her complete favorite The editorial reviews will give you more details Definitely for Maira Kalman fans to read one on one with their littlest ones and a keeper for solo reading later on Too bad nook doesnt carry her Pete books
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
So is david handler.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Is this good?is it a picture book? I love lemony snicket, but have never heard of this book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
?????
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Im confused. What is Lemony Snicket writing about now? Did anyone read this? Is it a picture book?