I Meant to Tell You

I Meant to Tell You

by James Stevenson
     
 

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In the final, touching volume of Stevenson's seven-book autobiographical series, the narrator has a child of his own and reminisces about all the things they did together when she was small. It is a unique memory--and every parent's memory. And the series as a whole gives readers a memorable glimpse of a time that was. Full color.

Overview

In the final, touching volume of Stevenson's seven-book autobiographical series, the narrator has a child of his own and reminisces about all the things they did together when she was small. It is a unique memory--and every parent's memory. And the series as a whole gives readers a memorable glimpse of a time that was. Full color.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Allegedly the last of Stevenson's (When I Was Nine; Don't You Know There's a War On?) autobiographical picture books, this is perhaps his most intimate and nostalgic, and, as such, may be primarily of interest to his adult fans. The second-person narrative, addressed to a grown-up daughter, is a free-flowing stream of memories of "your" childhood: walking on the beach during a warm rain, driving home with a newly acquired puppy in a shoebox, pretending that a piece of birchbark held a letter from the Indians, picking tomatoes in the garden and selecting the perfect pumpkin on Halloween. Like the text, Stevenson's inimitable, small-scale watercolor art is minimalist yet expressive. The simplest strokes create fuzzy, pastel images that reinforce the affection in his words. Kids, however, may need more of a story line and may be less vulnerable than their parents to the wistful, touching tones of the conclusion: "It was a while ago.... But I remember you when you were small and all the things we did together. I meant to tell you that." Ages 5-up. (Apr.)
Children's Literature - Wendy Ricci
Simple watercolors lend a gentle feel to this author's reminiscence of his daughter as a small child. His memories include going to the beach, walking in the woods, and her first bike ride ... right into a hedge! Readers can sense the special affection the father has for his daughter and the importance to him of recalling these warm memories.
School Library Journal
K UpAnother of Stevenson's picture-book reminiscences, this title is a tender tribute to the simple things the author enjoyed doing with his daughter when she was small. His recollections include teaching her to swim, choosing a pumpkin, collecting things, going to the zooall activities any parent and child might do together, each perfectly sketched in a line or two. With childlike watercolors that exactly fit the brief text, this book is a wonderful read-aloud for story times on families.Judith Constantinides, East Baton Rouge Parish Main Library, LA
Hazel Rochman
In his latest picture-book autobiography, Stevenson looks back at himself, not as a child, but as a father when his daughter was very young. The plain poetic words ("We went to the beach when the waves were big and the rain was warm" ) and the small dreamy watercolor figures leave space for you to fill in your own details. Some memories are rueful ("I remember some nights when you were small, you never went to sleep" ); some are exuberant (teaching her to ride a bike, to jump into his arms in a pool); some are quiet ("One day in the park, when I was sad, you put your arm around me" ). This is a book for parents and for children who will talk about their own family folklore of the time when you. . . . It's also for kids old enough to look at a parent as a person apart from themselves, to see what it was like for the father to leave his daughter at nursery school and have to drive away. The love is in the direct, affectionate voice, in the images he remembers, in the sharing of those memories.
Kirkus Reviews
From a deliberately awkward first line—"I meant to tell you, before I forget"—to the final scene, in which a man, child, and dog walk away from readers down a beach, this newest intergenerational love letter from Stevenson (The Bones in the Cliff, 1995, etc.) has a wistful tone. A father assures his daughter (and himself, perhaps) that he does indeed remember taking her for walks as a toddler, having to leave her at nursery school for the first time and drive away, teaching her to ride a bike, helping her not to be afraid to jump off a dock ("You knew that I'd catch you"), as well as her drawing, dancing, and laughter—"It was a while ago . . . but I remember." Stevenson displays his usual wizardry with a brush, expertly capturing moods and gestures, place and dress, even a page of potential jack-o'- lanterns ("No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. Yes!") with short strokes and a dab or two. Less anchored in the long-ago than his other recent picture-book reminiscences (Higher on the Door, 1987; July, 1990; etc.), this will inspire conversations between parents and children of any age.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780688141776
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
04/01/1996
Pages:
24
Product dimensions:
8.35(w) x 10.29(h) x 0.35(d)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

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