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By Trolley Past Thimbledon Bridge
     

By Trolley Past Thimbledon Bridge

by Ashley Bryan
 

Winner of:
2015 Parents' Choice Award, Picture Book

This picture book takes children of all ages on a trolley-ride dream adventure

Featuring the extraordinary illustrations of Caldecott Honoree, Marvin Bileck, this book is a dream caught on paper with the sense of magic and wonder and unfettered imagination of a child. As sleep starts

Overview

Winner of:
2015 Parents' Choice Award, Picture Book

This picture book takes children of all ages on a trolley-ride dream adventure

Featuring the extraordinary illustrations of Caldecott Honoree, Marvin Bileck, this book is a dream caught on paper with the sense of magic and wonder and unfettered imagination of a child. As sleep starts the journey into the blue, marvelous threads unravel dreamy images out of the blue revealing animals, far-off places, a circus, games, toys, wind, rain, a touch of this and a touch of that, words and wordplay. A poem accompanies the whimsical illustrations, perfectly capturing the sense of awe and excitement of childhood. With the eyes of a child, or simply the heart of a child, this book invites you into a dream world, an allegory, a journey.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"This is the work of two masters, who will take children on an exciting passage through time and illusion with their careful blending of words and pictures." —Jan Spivey Gilchrist, Coretta Scott King Award winning author and illustrator

"What a joy to read and reread! Truly a treasure! Bileck and Bryan will bewitch generations of readers." —Leslie Tryon, author and illustrator

"This trolley ride took me back to my own childhood, complete with the sound memory of the clank of change in the fare box. Now, the special stop I’d like to make is when the trolley passes Timbuctu." —Henrietta Mays Smith, professor emerita, University of South Florida, Virginia Hamilton Lifetime Achievement Award Winner

"With echoes of Lear and Stevenson, this journey into the land of dreams pairs a detailed Old World setting with a pulsing four-beat rhythm to pull readers into its magical realm . . . . Masterful wordplay, alliteration, imagery, and rhyme contribute to this 29-stanza poem, printed in its entirety at the opening and then woven throughout the densely populated pages in a hand-printed text . . . . Bileck and Bryan capture the stuff of dreams in this mesmerizing and multifaceted pageant." —Kirkus Reviews, starred review 

"Lines of prose are scattered among the illustrations, which will dazzle the eyes and stimulate the imagination. By Trolley Past Thimbledon Bridge has literally been decades in the making, but this beautiful picture book has been completely worth the wait." —Holly Scudero, sanfranciscobookreview.com

School Library Journal
09/01/2015
Gr 2–4—The late Marvin Bileck was a prolific illustrator perhaps best known for his Caldecott Honor Rain Makes Applesauce (Holiday House, 1985). He had been contacted by Virginia Woolf's estate to illustrate the only children's story she ever wrote. After 10 years, the estate withdrew the contract, leaving Bileck with numerous illustrations but no text. Enter his close friend, noted illustrator Bryan. The two collaborated on fresh text, and after decades the book has finally reached publication. There is no linear plot here, rather a poetic dreamlike fantasy: "Our dreams and our fancies/take off in our play/What's real, what's imagined/No one can say." The succeeding 28 verses are presented in a small but readable font on the first two pages with just a few spot illustrations. It's helpful to read them through several times, as the rest of the book interweaves those same verses with richly but often minutely detailed illustrations and the text wandering in and out of the pictures in a small, very pale font that is frequently obscured by those pictures. The text contains many interesting images, but they occasionally seem to be quite random. How "seek no further/marry me/meandering maid/in my apple tree" connects with this trolley ride is difficult to ascertain. VERDICT This lovely book is best presented one-on-one by an enthusiastic adult. For large or specialized collections.—Grace Oliff, Ann Blanche Smith School, Hillsdale, NJ
Kirkus Reviews
★ 2015-02-16
With echoes of Lear and Stevenson, this journey into the land of dreams pairs a detailed Old World setting with a pulsing four-beat rhythm to pull readers into its magical realm. Bileck, illustrator of Julian Scheer's Rain Makes Applesauce (1964), originally created these graphite-and-colored-pencil drawings for a children's manuscript by Virginia Woolf. When her estate canceled the project, Bryan collaborated on a new text with his longtime friend. Masterful wordplay, alliteration, imagery, and rhyme contribute to this 29-stanza poem, printed in its entirety at the opening and then woven throughout the densely populated pages in a hand-printed text. Thimbledon Bridge "is a merry mile long. / No one can cross who is cross. / It boasts a moon quite enormously blown / By bubble-man, bassoonist, Peat Moss." Spools, needles, and thimbles weave the emerging tapestry, both out of and "into the blue." Pinwheels and performers, giraffes and camels, turrets and greenery unfold in a fantastical, surreal parade. The images are alternately richly saturated with color or rendered with such a pale line as to be slipping from sight. The seamstress/narrator appears at the beginning and conclusion as a benevolent figure, relaxing in a rocker. Inside she becomes the wild Wind-Witch, hoary and zombielike, in compositions as disturbing as the rest are delightful. Bileck and Bryan capture the stuff of dreams in this mesmerizing and multifaceted pageant. (contributors' notes) (Picture book. 5-9)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780979300042
Publisher:
Alazar Press
Publication date:
05/01/2015
Pages:
32
Product dimensions:
9.80(w) x 12.20(h) x 0.50(d)
Age Range:
5 - 7 Years

Meet the Author

Ashley Bryan is an author, artist, and teacher who was the first African American man to both write and illustrate a book for children. His work has earned widespread recognition, including the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award and several Coretta Scott King awards and honors. His two volumes of collections of Black American spirituals, Walk Together Children and I’m Going To Sing are his seminal works forming the foundation of so much of his imagery. He lives on Little Cranberry Island (Islesford) off the coast of Maine. www.ashleybryancenter.org Marvin Bileck was an artist, educator, and a designer and illustrator of children’s books. Rain Makes Applesauce earned a Caldecott Honor. Other titles include Penny, Sugarplum and A Walker in the City.

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