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Gaston (Gaston and Friends Series)
     

Gaston (Gaston and Friends Series)

5.0 1
by Kelly DiPucchio, Christian Robinson (Illustrator)
 

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A bulldog and a poodle learn that family is about love, not appearances in this adorable doggy tale from New York Times bestselling author Kelly DiPucchio and illustrator Christian Robinson.

This is the story of four puppies: Fi-Fi, Foo-Foo, Ooh-La-La, and Gaston. Gaston works the hardest at his lessons on how to be a proper pooch. He

Overview

A bulldog and a poodle learn that family is about love, not appearances in this adorable doggy tale from New York Times bestselling author Kelly DiPucchio and illustrator Christian Robinson.

This is the story of four puppies: Fi-Fi, Foo-Foo, Ooh-La-La, and Gaston. Gaston works the hardest at his lessons on how to be a proper pooch. He sips—never slobbers! He yips—never yaps! And he walks with grace—never races! Gaston fits right in with his poodle sisters.

But a chance encounter with a bulldog family in the park—Rocky, Ricky, Bruno, and Antoinette—reveals there’s been a mix-up, and so Gaston and Antoinette switch places. The new families look right…but they don’t feel right. Can these puppies follow their noses—and their hearts—to find where they belong?

Editorial Reviews

The New York Times Book Review - Sophie Blackall
"Mrs. Poodle admired her new puppies," begins Gaston, written by Kelly DiPucchio. "Fi-Fi, Foo-Foo, Ooh-La-La and Gaston. Would you like to see them again?" Yes, I would, and so will readers, surely, because they are adorable. Christian Robinson's seductive illustrations are painted in acrylic with a striking palette, visible brush strokes and retro details.
Publishers Weekly
04/14/2014
Mrs. Poodle dotes on her four puppies, three “no bigger than teacups” and one—Gaston—“the size of a teapot.” Although he strives to be dainty, Gaston stands out from his sisters. He learns why when he meets Mrs. Bulldog, herself the mother of four: three roundish bulldogs and Antoinette, a poodle. Gaston and Antoinette “could see that there had been a mix-up,” so they trade places: “There. That looked right... it just didn’t feel right.” They longingly gaze back at their former families, and their adoptive mothers miss them. DiPucchio (Crafty Chloe) tells a poignant tale, despite implying that gendered behavior results from nurture: raised with feminine poodles, Gaston “did not like anything brutish or brawny” like his bulldog kin, and rough-and-tumble Antoinette “did not like anything proper or precious” like her fellow poodles. They grow up to marry and breed independent puppies. DiPucchio’s narrative gets a brilliant boost from Robinson’s (Rain!) savvy stencils and acrylics, which—like Maira Kalman’s designs—simultaneously evoke fingerpaintings and elegant gallery work. Gaston’s charm is a blend of sweetness and style. Ages 4–8. Agent: Steven Malk, Writers House. (June)
Horn Book Magazine
* "DiPucchio's lively, occasionally direct-address text was made to be read aloud. . . . In Robinson's elegant illustrations, the dogs' basic white forms. . . have minimal yet wonderfully expressive facial details. . . . Excellent messages about family, differences, and friendship are implicit. But first, just share and enjoy."
Shelf Awareness
* "Kelly DiPucchio (Crafty Chloe; Zombie in Love) and Christian Robinson (Harlem's Little Blackbird) team up for a heartwarming story about how the true sense of belonging comes from the inside, not the outside. . . . This is the story of choosing the home where you feel that you belong, not necessarily where you look like you belong."
The New York Times Book Review, August 2014 - Sophie Blackall
""Mrs. Poodle admired her new puppies," begins "Gaston," written by Kelly DiPucchio. "Fi-Fi, Foo-Foo, Ooh-La-La and Gaston. Would you like to see them again?" Yes, I would, and so will readers, surely, because they are adorable. Christian Robinson’s seductive illustrations are painted in acrylic with a striking palette, visible brush strokes and retro details. The mostly white dogs have expressive features using minimal marks."
June 2014 Booklist
"[A] joyous tale. The pictures, rendered in simple shapes of warm acrylic colors, are a delight, celebrating each dog's expressive personality. Kids who might feel the odd man out in their own families will take heart from this."
May 2014 The Wall Street Journal
"A case of mistaken identity in two families of the canine variety produces perplexity in "Gaston"...a wonderfully colorful picture book for the younger set. In Kelly DiPucchio's conversational telling, we meet a boisterous puppy whose manners and appearance are not quite so refined as the rest of his poodle family.... In Christian Robinson's stylish, expressive artwork, we see nature and nurture exerting their separate claims on Gaston and little Antoinette, with a cheery conclusion that pays respect to both."
September 2014 The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
"[A] charming exploration of the deceptiveness of appearances. Robinson’s gorgeous acrylic illustrations evoke Parisian life.... These winking depictions of privileged canine life (for instance, Gaston in a smart neckerchief) convey both humor and haute homeyness, as does DiPucchio’s playful prose, which immediately engages with its tone of familiarity. Useful for a lighthearted look at feelings of not quite fitting in (or even at adoption), this delightful readaloud will have audiences très enchantés, indeed."
November/December 2014 Library Media Connection
"Gaston, a bulldog puppy, is the earnest hero of this lively story about acceptance.... The narrator’s invitation to listeners to carefully consider the puppies, plus the abundance of alliteration and the bold acrylic illustrations, make this a dynamic read-aloud.... There are complex ideas here—nature vs. nurture, cultural assimilation into one's family vs. individual identity, and rigid vs. flexible gender roles."
Kirkus Reviews
★ 2014-04-09
Gaston, an adorable pup, lives with his loving and proper poodle pack, until an outing reveals there's more to family than meets the eye.Mrs. Poodle treasures her new puppies: Fi-Fi, Foo-Foo, Ooh-La-La and Gaston (say them aloud, and there will be giggles!). Four white pups, so attentive and sweet. But upon second viewing, it's clear not all are the same. Gaston—the one with the eager-to-please smile—is, well, different. His sisters are naturals at etiquette, while he is comical in his efforts. When a park visit establishes that puppies were mixed at birth, Gaston heads home with the bulldogs, while his counterpart, Antoinette, takes her place with the poodles. But it's clear the two truly belong with their adoptive families. Once returned to the families who nurtured them, all feels and looks right as the dogs celebrate with joy. Now fast friends, the families meet and play; much later, when Gaston and Antoinette fall in love, the two allow their brood—who are a delightful mix of their parents—to be whatever they want to be. Robinson's brilliantly designed acrylic paintings, done in an earth-tone palette, beautifully enhance DiPucchio's clever and witty text. His simple, graphic style, reminiscent of M. Sasek, is full of energy and sophistication, and the interplay among type, text and compositions leads to humorous results. Gaston will win hearts, as will his story's message of belonging and family.A perfect read aloud that will leave them begging for more—an absolute delight. (Picture book. 2-7)
School Library Journal
05/01/2014
PreS-Gr 2—Mrs. Poodle has new puppies, Fi-Fi, Foo-Foo, Ooh-La-La, and Gaston, but one of them is not like the others. Next to his petite siblings, Gaston is stocky, ungainly, and goofy looking. One day, they encounter a rough-and-tumble bulldog family, and it's immediately clear that there has been a mix-up. Gaston's short legs and broad ears look just like those of the bulldogs', while the bulldog family includes a tiny poodle named Antoinette. What starts out as a typical "Ugly Duckling" plot becomes a tender exploration of nurture vs. nature. The pups go home with their "real" families, but everyone questions the decision. The mothers are shown gazing forlornly at family portraits, and poor Gaston has no interest in anything "brutish or brawny or brown," preferring the "proper or precious or pink" home that Antoinette scorns. The next day they joyfully switch back: "There. That looked right. And it felt right too." But the story doesn't end there. Both families continue to meet and teach each other about being tough and tender, and when Gaston and Antoinette eventually fall in love and have puppies of their own, they teach them to be whatever they want to be. Robinson's expressive acrylic paintings are bright and bold, yet simple, making masterly use of negative space and contrast. This heartwarming story of family will be a welcome addition to homes and libraries of all types.—Anna Haase Krueger, Ramsey County Library, MN

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781442451025
Publisher:
Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Publication date:
06/03/2014
Series:
Gaston and Friends Series
Pages:
40
Sales rank:
30,608
Product dimensions:
9.10(w) x 11.50(h) x 0.50(d)
Lexile:
AD500L (what's this?)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

Kelly DiPucchio is the award-winning and New York Times bestselling author of Grace for President and numerous other books for kids, including Crafty Chloe, Zombie in Love, Gaston, and Antoinette. She lives with her husband and three children in Michigan. You can find out more about Kelly and her books at KellyDiPucchio.com.

Christian Robinson’s books for young readers include Josephine: The Dazzling Life of Josephine Baker by Patricia Hruby Powell, which was a Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor Book as well as a Robert F. Sibert Informational Honor Book; Harlem’s Little Blackbird by Renée Watson, which was an NAACP Image Award nominee; and Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Peña, which earned four starred reviews, was a New York Times bestseller, and won the 2016 Newbery Medal, a 2016 Caldecott Honor, and a 2016 Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor. Christian’s recent book Leo: A Ghost Story, written by Mac Barnett, also received four starred reviews. Visit Christian online at TheArtofFun.com.

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Gaston 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
jlptrsn More than 1 year ago
My three-year old and two-year old love Gaston. They walk around saying "Fi-Fi, Foo-Foo, Oo La La." Precious artwork and a solid story. (I have considered tearing out the two pages with the puppies "riding in style" to have them framed! Lovely illustrations.) Looking forward to buying more work from this author and illustrator.