Garmann's Summer

Overview

This unique, award-winning picture book delves into the mind of a young boy who is afraid of starting school.

Summer is nearly over. The old aunts have come to visit, and autumn is in the air. Everything is ready for Garmann’s first day of school, but he is still nervous. And he can’t believe that he hasn’t lost a single tooth yet, despite his best efforts!

Stian Hole has created a memorable and endearing character in Garmann, whose musings ...

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Overview

This unique, award-winning picture book delves into the mind of a young boy who is afraid of starting school.

Summer is nearly over. The old aunts have come to visit, and autumn is in the air. Everything is ready for Garmann’s first day of school, but he is still nervous. And he can’t believe that he hasn’t lost a single tooth yet, despite his best efforts!

Stian Hole has created a memorable and endearing character in Garmann, whose musings about fear and courage, life and death, beginnings and endings, help him understand that everyone is scared of something.

Published in ten languages, Garmann’s Summer was the recipient of the 2007 BolognaRagazzi Award, one of the most prestigious international prizes for excellence in children’s book publishing, awarded each year in conjunction with the Bologna Children’s Book Fair.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
As autumn approaches, young Garmann thinks about his three old aunts. They arrive for a few days every summer, "from another time." They "bring rheumatism, hernias, and almond tart," along with another knitted hat with pom-pom. Meanwhile, he is a bit frightened about starting first grade, particularly since he hasn't lost any teeth yet. His aunts have lost all of theirs. Each aunt tells Garmann her experience with fear; even his dad and mother are afraid of something. His aunts leave; summer is over "[a]nd Garmann is scared." But perhaps he will be able to face school knowing he is not alone. Hole relies heavily on photographs to create intriguing surreal collages that show the perceptions of this youngster.For example, when Auntie Ruth expresses concern about using a wheeled walker, Garmann offers her his skateboard. His vision of her riding it over the cityscape is just one of the comic pictures. Other illustrations show lots of winged insects, fanciful flowers, and more—all of the items are naturalistic, but they are assembled in puzzling juxtapositions. The story may appeal more to adults than children, but the illustrations should intrigue everyone. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal

Gr 1-4- Mixed-media collage illustrations, prominently featuring oversize, digitally altered photographs of human heads, reflect Garmann's anxious thoughts in his last summer before he begins school. Signs of autumn abound in nature and in his elderly aunts' annual visit. The six-year-old side of Garmann thinks his aunts are shrinking and soon may not be able to see over the grass, naively offers one aunt his skateboard when she says that soon she will need a walker, and worries because he has not lost his first tooth. The tooth seems more urgent as he compares himself to the twins next door and notices his aunts' dentures, also shown as part of the photo collages in which size, proportion, and color draw the eye into the youngster's imagination. The introspective boy wonders about life's transitions and asks the aunts about aging and their possible fears of dying. He also asks his violinist father and his serene-looking mother, "What are you scared of?" In the end, Garmann sees that everyone feels fear and yet goes on living. He says good-bye to the aunts, organizes his school bag one last time, checks his teeth, counts the hours until school-and accepts his anxious feelings. With its literary tone and distinctive illustrative style, this unusual picture book is for larger collections.-Julie R. Ranelli, Queen Anne's County Free Library, Stevensville, MD

Kirkus Reviews
This translated picture book from Norway, the 2007 BolognaRagazzi Award winner, examines a young boy's anxieties. As summer draws to a close, it's time for Garmann's three elderly aunts to make their annual visit and for school to begin soon. Six-year-old Garmann is scared of the new school year, but he finds comfort in asking his family about their own fears. While Auntie Ruth fears she'll soon need a walker, Auntie Borghild is scared of dying. His violinist father gets nervous before concerts, his mother worries about his crossing the street by himself and forgetful Auntie Augusta "doesn't remember what it is like to be scared." As he observes the signs of the aunts' aging and the death of a sparrow in the garden, Garmann begins to understand that fear is a natural part of growing up. A melange of vintage photographs, antique floral prints, patterned backgrounds and realia gives Garmann's discoveries a dreamlike quality, but the surreal effect, as well as the lengthy text, will appeal more to adults than young children. (Picture book. 5-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780802853394
  • Publisher: Eerdmans, William B. Publishing Company
  • Publication date: 5/15/2008
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 42
  • Age range: 5 - 8 Years
  • Lexile: AD710L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 8.40 (w) x 11.00 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Stian Hole is a Norwegian author and illustrator. Garmann's Summer is his second picture book for children.

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