Clown

( 1 )

Overview

One day, Clown is thrown into the trash, but he doesn't stay there long.

He tries to find someone to take care of his friends, but no one listens.

Then Clown finds someone he can take care of, and together, they make a home for everyone.

Follow the fortunes of Clown— who starts in a garbage can and ends up in a happy family— in this perfectly pitched picture book.

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Overview

One day, Clown is thrown into the trash, but he doesn't stay there long.

He tries to find someone to take care of his friends, but no one listens.

Then Clown finds someone he can take care of, and together, they make a home for everyone.

Follow the fortunes of Clown— who starts in a garbage can and ends up in a happy family— in this perfectly pitched picture book.

Master illustrator Quentin Blake has created an irrepressible character, an action-filled plot, and an eloquent story that can be read on several levels— all without the use of a single word.

Clown is a 1996 New York Times Book Review Best Illustrated Book of the Year.

Horn Book Fanfare Book

After being discarded, Clown makes his way through town having a series of adventures as he tries to find a home for himself and his other toy friends.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This story in mime unfolds with lots of action and quiet charm. The deft line drawings, tinted with watercolor washes, indicate character traits and emotions with great sensitivity to form, movement, and detail." —Booklist
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In this tragicomic, wordless picture book, a discarded clown doll escapes from a garbage can, and endeavors to rescue his fellow toys from the trash. "With a few brushstrokes and scribbles of ink, Blake conveys moods, contrasts economic situations--and praises those who appreciate secondhand items," said PW. Ages 3-8. Sept.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Mimes need not speak to communicate their stories; accordingly, Blake (Simpkin) chooses a toy clown to gesture his way through this wordless picture book. Despite some slapstick humor, the story belongs to the tragicomic tradition. On page one, an elderly lady tosses Clown and five other rag dolls in the trash like so many limp vegetables. Clown drops over the side of the can and onto a city sidewalk, dusts off his white cloth pants and runs to get help. Each page shows multiple vignettes of Clown in frantic action. Several children befriend him-he's only slightly shorter than they are-but adults are less congenial. One glamorous woman flings Clown out a window draped with elegant purple curtains, and, after Clown escapes a guard dog, its punkish owner pitches him high into the sky, where his beanbag-loose silhouette soars above a bleak city backdrop. Clown often wears a look of concern, but, after the heroic conclusion, the gray clouds light up with sunset splotches of bright pink. The overall message is one of loyalty: those who find their way out of the garbage have a responsibility to those they leave behind. With a few brushstrokes and scribbles of ink, Blake conveys moods, contrasts economic situations-and praises those who appreciate secondhand items. Ages 4-8. (Mar.)
Children's Literature - Kathleen Karr
British illustrator Blake uses watercolors and spare ink lines to create distinctive worlds that are his alone. His characters are caricatures that come alive, and his little clown doll is no exception. Without using a single word, Blake brilliantly leads the "reader" through a day in life of this discarded toy who is searching for a new, loving home for himself and his friends. Clown finally succeeds through a frenzy of acrobatics and kindness, and along the way his adventures allow Blake to make a few pointed comments on modern urban society. 1998 (orig.
School Library Journal
K-Gr 4-Unceremoniously tossed in a trash bin with other toys, Clown escapes and attempts to enlist help in rescuing his discarded friends. He gains the sympathy of two little girls and the attention of one dog, but interfering adults thwart his efforts at every turn. Finally landing in the drab apartment in which a girl is baby-sitting her little brother, Clown not only gains his objective but also helps make a happy home for all (humans included). Blake's whimsical watercolor-and-ink illustrations are particularly well suited to this wordless tale presented in cartoon style. His spare but expressive lines effectively capture the hero's pluck, the cruel disdain of adults, and the dreariness of the urban apartment. Large drawings in frames combined with smaller, unframed sketches vary the tempo and pace and further dramatize moments of bold action. While accessible to young viewers, a certain level of visual sophistication is required to truly appreciate the nuances of the plot. For example, the relationship between daughter and mother remains unclear until the end, but this does not significantly detract from the drama. Blake succeeds admirably in presenting a multilayered and thought-provoking tale that will capture readers' imaginations.-Carol Ann Wilson, Westfield Memorial Library, NJ
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780805059335
  • Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
  • Publication date: 9/15/1998
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 641,207
  • Age range: 5 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.82 (w) x 10.66 (h) x 0.11 (d)

Meet the Author

Quentin Blake is best known for his work with Roald Dahl. Between them they produced such classics as The Witches, The BFG, and Matilda. In 1981 he was awarded both the Kate Greenaway Medal and the Children's Book Award, and in 1988 the Order of the British Empire.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 12, 2008

    One of many reveiws

    This book can turn your frown upside down. It shows a abondon toy who finds more than a home, he finds family, love and how it feels to help others.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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