Clara and Asha

Clara and Asha

5.0 1
by Eric Rohmann
     
 

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

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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.

Editorial Reviews

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)
From the Publisher

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

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.

The artwork ... is magnificent.

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

and a good joke on the final page."

"Rohmann has perfected the art of letting the pictures tell the story.... Rohmann offers youngsters a taste of power, liberation and joy
Booklist
The artwork ... is magnificent.
Child magazine's Best Children's Book Awards 2005
Expressive oil paintings underscore the magic of a young girl's friendship with Asha, a giant imaginary fish.... Will delight little ones.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781596430310
Publisher:
Roaring Brook Press
Publication date:
08/01/2005
Pages:
40
Product dimensions:
9.70(w) x 10.34(h) x 0.39(d)
Age Range:
3 - 6 Years

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