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A Net of Stars

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Etta just knows this is the year sheÆll be brave enough to ride the Ferris wheel at the midway fairùsheÆs even told her brother and sister. But when she tests herself on top of the chicken coop and finds sheÆs too scared to move, sheÆs suddenly not so sureùthe sky is so vast, whatÆs out there to catch her if she falls? But through love and support from a caring older sister and a wonderful combination of determination and imagination, Etta comes to discover she really is able to soar to new heightsàjust as ...
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Greg Shed NY 1998 Hardcover 1st Edition New in New jacket Book. 4to-over 9?-12" tall. Signed by Author(s) This is a New and Unread copy of the first edition (1st printing). It ... is Signed by the author on the title page: " For Alice Who creates Nets of Stars for many, many children. I am so glad you're my friend. Love, Jennifer Richard Jacobson". Read more Show Less

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Overview

Etta just knows this is the year sheÆll be brave enough to ride the Ferris wheel at the midway fairùsheÆs even told her brother and sister. But when she tests herself on top of the chicken coop and finds sheÆs too scared to move, sheÆs suddenly not so sureùthe sky is so vast, whatÆs out there to catch her if she falls? But through love and support from a caring older sister and a wonderful combination of determination and imagination, Etta comes to discover she really is able to soar to new heightsàjust as readers will when they cheer Etta on with each turn of the page! With a deceptively simple, timeless tale, Jennifer Richard JacobsonÆs debut on the Dial list is a spectacular one, while renowned artist Greg ShedÆs paintings literally illuminate the page.

When the carnival comes to town, Etta finds an ingenious way to overcome her fear of heights.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This nostalgic picture book harks back to a time when girls wore dresses to the carnival, yet it delivers an ageless message about overcoming fear. When the midway comes to her rural community, Etta is determined that this time she will ride the Ferris wheel with her older brother and sister. But her resolve ("This year I'll be brave") disintegrates when she reaches the top, and she is humiliated when the attendant interrupts the ride to let her off ("Can't be brave. Can't!"). Jacobson's evenly paced text transmutes the child's fear of the vast, empty sky through a poetic image: when Etta learns that constellations are formed from invisible lines that connect the stars, she takes an imaginative leap that, if she should tumble from the top of the Ferris wheel, the nearby stars will form a net to catch her. Shed's (Dandelions) sun-drenched and moonlit paintings depict the girls' cottony white dresses against the carnival's muted olives, mauves and rust, and the hazy light of still summer days and soft night breezes, slowing the narrative to a delicious drawl. Young readers conquering anxieties of their own will want to linger over this comforting drama. Ages 4-8. (June)
Children's Literature - Kristin Harris
This is a tale of conquering fear. Etta wants to ride on the Ferris wheel this year when the midway comes to town. She tests her fear of heights on the chicken coop, but fails to reassure herself. She goes to the midway with her older brother and sister and manages to get on the Ferris wheel, only to have to be let off when she starts to cry. Big sister Fiona is especially comforting that evening, pointing out the Big Dipper as they enjoy popsicles. Magically, the sparkling stars inspire Etta, and she is brave enough to take on the Ferris wheel all by herself. The illustrations are nostalgic of the fifties; warm and softly out of focus. There is a rich sense of sunlight, and the images are peaceful and rural.
School Library Journal
K-Gr 2--Haying time brings the midway to the timeless, rural American community in which the main character's family lives. In spite of this excitement, Etta is terrified to ride the Ferris wheel. To prepare herself, she climbs onto the chicken-coop roof, where she becomes stranded. An attempt to ride the wheel with her siblings is aborted, and Etta retreats in frustration: "Can't be brave. Can't! I hold on to Fiona as hard as I can and I start to cry. Big tears I cry. Big baby tears." Finally, looking out her window one night, the child has a revelation about the stars and is able to use it to help her overcome her fear of heights. The clear, simple prose is as suited to independent reading as it is to reading aloud. Luminous composition and effective delineation of character are the trademarks of Shed's realistic, full-color gouache paintings. Etta's determination is effectively captured by her posture as well as her words. The text and illustrations work in concert to deliver the essence of youthful discovery. The book will be cherished by children who are seeking courage and by those who have found it.--Carolyn Noah, Central Mass. Regional Library System, Worcester, MA
Kirkus Reviews
A child finds a way to get past her fear of heights in this sensitive, well-knit episode. When the carnival sets up nearby, Etta announces that this is the year that she will ride the Ferris wheel. In a preliminary test of her resolve, she climbs to the top of the chicken coop, and is frozen by the deep, empty sky. Later, at the carnival, she joins her older brother and sister aboard the ride, but only for a moment. That night, her sister Fiona shows her the constellations, and that proves to be the key; on the following night Etta rides the wheel alone, and sees the stars as a safety net. Jacobson conveys a realistic sense of Etta's vertigo, as well as a credible tactic for dealing with it. In Shed's hazy, golden-toned paintings, the carnival and the farm children are washed in summery light; Etta's intense satisfaction is written across her face in the penultimate scene, and readers will feel it with her. (Picture book. 5-7)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780803720879
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 6/1/1998
  • Edition description: 1st ed
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 10.84 (w) x 8.76 (h) x 0.39 (d)

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