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The Carousel

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Overview

Two sisters remember their mother saying, "The carousel horses sleep all winter and wake in the spring." But one gray-skied February twilight, as the girls make their way home from school, they hear strange whinnying noises coming from the carousel in the park. Peeking inside the carousel canvas, the sisters step into the unknown. Could it be that the horses are moving ... clopping their hooves ... alive?

Liz ...

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Overview

Two sisters remember their mother saying, "The carousel horses sleep all winter and wake in the spring." But one gray-skied February twilight, as the girls make their way home from school, they hear strange whinnying noises coming from the carousel in the park. Peeking inside the carousel canvas, the sisters step into the unknown. Could it be that the horses are moving ... clopping their hooves ... alive?

Liz Rosenberg lives in Binghamton, New York.

Jim LaMarche lives in Santa Cruz, California.

Two sisters find that the horses of a broken carousel have come alive in the rain.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Rosenberg's atmospheric tale is greatly enhanced by LaMarche's . . . singularly luminous artwork; mist all but lingers on the pages, and his superb use of light and shadow underscores the element of magic threading through the story."—Publishers Weekly
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Two sisters must tame a group of carousel horses that have magically come to life. In a starred review, PW said, "Rosenberg's atmospheric tale is greatly enhanced by LaMarche's singularly luminous artwork." Ages 4-8. Aug.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
When two sisters take a shortcut through the park one rainy winter day at dusk, the horses on the canvas-shrouded carousel magically come to life and take them for a thrilling twilight ride, soaring up into the sky above town. Something goes awry, however-the horses go wild, and it's up to the girls, with the help of their mother's tool kit and the elder sister's flute serenade, to set things right. Throughout the poetic text, there are hints of the girls' mother's death-the use of the past tense when she's mentioned, and a lingering sadness-and by story's end readers sense that a hurdle has been crossed on their road to healing. Rosenberg's atmospheric tale is greatly enhanced by LaMarche's (The Rainbabies) singularly luminous artwork; mist all but lingers on the pages, and his superb use of light and shadow underscores the element of magic threading through the story. Ages 4-8. (Oct.)
Children's Literature - Susie Wilde
Fantasy figures large in this tale of two sisters who go to visit a broken down carousel on their way home from school. The wooden animals come alive and carry the two of them off on a rainy night adventure through parks and across the sky. The sisters' close relationship is the foreground of the book, but in the background there is a constant echo of their mother's poetic wisdom. It is her words ("carousel horses slept all winter and woke in spring") that initiate the fantasy, her words that lead the girls to get her red toolbox to repair the horses ("Take good care of your tools and they'll take good care of you"), and finally a remembrance of her playing "Claire de Lune" that tames the horses and comforts the girls. This is an enduring book about relationship: the caring of the girls for each other, the nurturing of their father, and their mother's love that reaches beyond death.
School Library Journal
K-Gr 3-On a rainy day in February, two sisters stop by a park after school and peek into the pavilion that houses a long-stilled carousel. To their delight and amazement, the horses are whinnying and prancing around. The narrator leaps on her favorite mare and they fly off into the twilight. Her sister climbs on a zebra and they gallop off together. In response to the observation that ``they're wild because they are broken,'' the girls race home to get their deceased mother's old red toolbox. The younger one proceeds to take the carousel machinery apart until she fixes it, just like her mother would have done. Her sibling calms the horses by playing her flute and the steeds resume their places on the carousel. Wonderfully detailed paintings done in acrylic washes with colored pencils capture the action. The soft, dark gray-blues and lavenders of the pictures are accented by warm, glowing street lights and lighted houses. The sense of wonder and delight on the girls' faces make this fanciful adventure an appealing one. A pleasing story, which, like Chris Van Allsburg's The Polar Express Houghton, 1985, can be enjoyed on many different levels.-Janet M. Bair, Trumbull Library, CT
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780152018870
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 9/28/1998
  • Series: Reading Rainbow Bks.
  • Edition description: REPRINT
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 11.04 (w) x 8.03 (h) x 0.19 (d)

Meet the Author

Liz Rosenberg
Liz Rosenberg

Liz Rosenberg is a teacher of children's literature at the State University of New York at Binghamton. She has published two collections of her poetry for adults, as well as a number of highly praised picture books for younger readers. She lives with her husband and their son in Binghamton, New York.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
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