Clara and Asha

( 1 )

Overview

In Clara and Asha — as in Eric Rohmann's Caldecott Medal-winning My Friend Rabbit—a simple storyline becomes the basis for fun and sophistication. Clara's friend Asha is an enormous fish, which means that hide-and-seek, Halloween, snow days, and afternoons in the park offer surprising opportunities for adventure. With oil paintings that playfully suggest stories within stories and convey great emotional range, this is a captivating book about the special world of a child's imagination—where a giant fish might ...

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Overview

In Clara and Asha — as in Eric Rohmann's Caldecott Medal-winning My Friend Rabbit—a simple storyline becomes the basis for fun and sophistication. Clara's friend Asha is an enormous fish, which means that hide-and-seek, Halloween, snow days, and afternoons in the park offer surprising opportunities for adventure. With oil paintings that playfully suggest stories within stories and convey great emotional range, this is a captivating book about the special world of a child's imagination—where a giant fish might come to visit, and the things you do and the things you fell with an imaginary friend are intensely real.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Rohmann has perfected the art of letting the pictures tell the story.... Rohmann offers youngsters a taste of power, liberation and joy—and a good joke on the final page."

Publishers Weekly

 

"Rohmann’s fine, friendly oil paintings range from frolicsome daytime scenes to lush, hypnotic dreamscapes in deep, shadowy blues."

Kirkus Reviews

 

"The oil paintings portray a natural world in all its glorious seasons, brimming with mystery and delight, where time spent with a friend is one of life's greatest joys. Children will revel in the opportunity to see their dreams and longings realized so enchantingly."

School Library Journal

 

"The artwork ... is magnificent."

Booklist

 

"Expressive oil paintings underscore the magic of a young girl's friendship with Asha, a giant imaginary fish.... Will delight little ones."

Child magazine's Best Children's Book Awards 2005

From The Critics
Expressive oil paintings underscore the magic of a young girl's friendship with Asha, a giant imaginary fish. Clara relates how she and the fish play in the snow and take rowdy baths together and how she goes trick-or-treating as a fisherman with Asha, her huge catch, floating fantastically behind her ("On Halloween, Asha helped me with my costume"). At day's end, the two pals soar among the stars on a moonlit night-a spectacular sight that will delight little ones. (ages 2 to 4)
Child magazine's Best Children's Book Awards 2005
Publishers Weekly
Rohmann (My Friend Rabbit) introduces a girl who leads a fascinating nighttime existence. " 'Clara! Time for bed,' my mom calls. But I'm not sleepy, so I open my window... and wait for Asha." Clara blows bubbles into the moonlight, which seem to attract the blunt snout of a benevolent, floating creature. On the next page, Clara reaches out to pet a gigantic, mild-mannered striped blue fish who's just come through her window. "We met in the park," the text explains, as Clara peers at a rococo fountain; on its base, stylized fish float tail to tail, blowing out streams of water-and there's Asha. Rohmann has perfected the art of letting the pictures tell the story: here and throughout, he lets the image deliver the punchline. In a page-and-a-half frieze, Asha follows Clara on a slalom course through a cluster of trees with a friendly fish-grin on her face. A series of wordless tableaux imagines Clara and Asha flying together out into a starry sky above a pond, and the two blur tantallizingly (is that a splash in the Milky Way?). As in David Wiesner's work, the fantasy elements look very much at home in the child's realistic setting. Clara and her friend share a poignant farewell scene before the girl returns to bed, her mother never the wiser. In this small-scale, bedtime picture book, Rohmann offers youngsters a taste of power, liberation and joy-and a good joke on the final page. Ages 3-8. (Aug.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 1-With his characteristically spare story line and larger-than-life visuals, Rohmann returns to the concept (and nearly identical form) of an inanimate fish that becomes a living playmate, first introduced in The Cinder-Eyed Cats (Crown, 1997). The tale opens at Clara's bedtime, when an enormous fish glides through her window. The creature is an acquaintance from a sculpture in the park. Ensuing scenes depict Clara and Asha playing ball, stalling during bath time, and coordinating costumes at Halloween. A climactic finale depicts Clara floating on bubbles out of her room and soaring with her protective companion, a situation calling for the artist's signature panoramic perspectives. When an offstage mom suggests that her daughter go to sleep, an alligator shadow on her bedspread hints that the party is not quite over. The oil paintings portray a natural world in all its glorious seasons, brimming with mystery and delight, where time spent with a friend is one of life's greatest joys. Children will revel in the opportunity to see their dreams and longings realized so enchantingly.-Wendy Lukehart, Washington DC Public Library Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Asha is a giant fish, originally of the spitting marble-fountain variety, who flies up to Clara's bedroom window at night when she can't get to sleep. Asha becomes Clara's fast friend, even meeting her toys and shrinking up enough one day to splash around with her goldfish. This bedtime story is simple and spare, and Rohmann's fine, friendly oil paintings range from frolicsome daytime scenes to lush, hypnotic dreamscapes in deep, shadowy blues. It's the visual details that distinguish this, though. The opening page shows Clara sitting by her pink pig blowing bubbles, and bubbles reappear on the next page as Asha approaches her bedroom window. Bubbles materialize next in the fish bowl where the mini Asha and the goldfish swim, and much, much bigger bubbles later transport Clara through the starry night sky until POP!, she tumbles safely onto Asha's back. Lest young readers think Asha is Clara's exclusive imaginary friend, an eager-looking crocodile comes to her window at the end, and Clara thinks, "Can I help if I have so many friends?" (Picture book. 4-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781596430310
  • Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
  • Publication date: 8/1/2005
  • Pages: 40
  • Sales rank: 1,427,901
  • Age range: 3 - 6 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.70 (w) x 10.34 (h) x 0.39 (d)

Meet the Author

Eric Rohmann

Eric Rohmann won the Caldecott Medal for My Friend Rabbit, and a Caldecott Honor for Time Flies. He is also the author and illustrator of  A Kitten Tale and The Cinder-Eyed Cats, among other books for children. He has illustrated many other books, including Last Song, based on a poem by James Guthrie, and has created book jackets for a number of novels, including His Dark Materials, by Philip Pullman.

Rohmann was born in Riverside, Illinois in 1957. He grew up in Downers Grove, a suburb of Chicago. As a boy, he played Little League baseball, read comic books, and collected rocks and minerals, insects, leaves, and animal skulls.

Rohmann has his BS in Art and an MS in Studio Art from Illinois State University, and an MFA in Printmaking/Fine Bookmaking from Arizona State University. He also studied Anthropology and Biology. He taught printmaking, painting, and fine bookmaking at Belvoir Terrace in Massachusettes and introductory drawing, fine bookmaking, and printmaking at St. Olaf College in Minnesota.

He lives in a suburb of Chicago.

Biography

The 2003 Caldecott Medal for illustration was awarded to Eric Rohmann for My Friend Rabbit, published by Roaring Brook Press, a division of The Millbrook Press. In the book, Mouse shares his brand-new toy airplane with his friend Rabbit, and no one can predict the disastrous-but hilarious-results. When the airplane lands in a tree, the chaos only builds as Rabbit drags, pushes and carries the whole neighborhood, including Elephant, Hippo and Crocodile, to the rescue. It's a lighthearted celebration of a friendship that will last - even if whatever Rabbit does and wherever he goes, trouble follows.

"Eric Rohmann's hand-colored relief prints express a vibrant energy through solid black outlines, lightly textured backgrounds and a robust use of color," said Pat Scales, chair of the 2003 Caldecott Award Committee. "The black frame cannot contain Rabbit's enthusiasm in this dramatic visual romp, as the characters tumble and spill from the page and back on again. The artist shows his respect for his audience and keen understanding of picture book design. Whatever they do and wherever they go, children will claim Rabbit as their friend."

Rohmann is the author and illustrator of two previous children's books, The Cinder-Eyed Cats and Time Flies, which was a 1995 Caldecott Honor Book. He also has illustrated The Prairie Train by Antoine Ó'Flatharta. A painter, printmaker and fine bookmaker, Rohmann holds fine arts degrees from Arizona State University and Illinois State University. He lives in the Chicago area. My Friend Rabbit is his first book for Roaring Brook Press.

Courtesy of the American Library Association.

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    1. Hometown:
      Chicago, Illinois
    1. Education:
      Fine Arts degrees from Arizona State University and Illinois State University

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 22, 2011

    Fabulous book

    My daughter and I really enjoy the creative imagery in this book. We love to read it over and over again.

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