The Lonely Phone Booth

The Lonely Phone Booth

4.6 3
by Peter Ackerman, Max Dalton
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

Remember the days when phone booths stood on every street corner? If you had to make a call, you'd step inside the little booth, lift the phone off the hook, put a coin in the slot, listen for the click, push the buttons, and hear it ring? And for only 25 cents, in the quiet of the booth, you could call your grandmother, or let the office know you were running late,

Overview

Remember the days when phone booths stood on every street corner? If you had to make a call, you'd step inside the little booth, lift the phone off the hook, put a coin in the slot, listen for the click, push the buttons, and hear it ring? And for only 25 cents, in the quiet of the booth, you could call your grandmother, or let the office know you were running late, or get directions for a birthday party. . .

This is the story of one of the last remaining phone booths in New York City, the Phone Booth on the corner of West End Avenue and 100th. Everyone used it — from ballerinas and girl scouts, zookeepers and birthday clowns, to cellists and even secret agents! The Phone Booth was so beloved that people would sometimes wait in line to use it. Kept clean and polished, the Phone Booth was proud and happy . . . until, the day a businessman strode by and shouted into a shiny silver object, "I'll be there in ten minutes!" Soon everyone was talking into these shiny silver things, and the Phone Booth stood alone and empty, unused and dejected.

How the Phone Booth saved the day and united the neighborhood to rally around its revival is the heart of this soulful story. In a world in which objects we love and recognize as part of the integral fabric of our lives are disappearing at a rapid rate, here is a story about the value of the analog, the power of the people's voice, and the care and respect due to those things that have served us well over time.

With his delightful, witty, and boldly colored illustrations that evoke Miroslav Sasek's mid-century modern aesthetic, Max Dalton simply and elegantly captures the energy and diversity of New York City and its inhabitants. A beauty to behold and a pleasure to read, The Lonely Phone Booth is sure to be a favorite among children and parents alike, and the real Phone Booth, which is still standing at West End Avenue and 100th Street, is worth a field trip!

Editorial Reviews

Becca Zerkin
…warm, quirky…Scene-stealing illustrations by Max Dalton convey the story's nostalgic sensibility…Like Hildegarde H. Swift's Little Red Lighthouse and the Great Gray Bridge (1942), in which the lighthouse learns it still has an important job even after the construction of the giant George Washington Bridge, Ackerman's story expresses a sentimental connection to an old New York symbol.
—The New York Times
Publishers Weekly
Evoking the same kind of New York charm as favorites like The Little Red Lighthouse and the Great Gray Bridge and The House on East 88th Street, screenwriter Ackerman celebrates a humble phone booth (still standing at 100th Street and West End Avenue) that saves the Upper West Side--and vice versa. Fellow newcomer Dalton's retro vignettes set the scene with square-jawed men in skinny ties, Girl Scouts in braids, and assorted neighborhood clowns, ballerinas, and secret agents while Ackerman explains how things used to be. "Each week, phone company workers came to clean and polish the Phone Booth, to collect the deposited coins, and to make sure that its buttons were working properly." The booth has plenty of customers until people start holding "shiny silver objects" to their ears, puzzling the phone booth and eradicating the long lines of callers waiting "just to wish their grandmas a happy birthday." An electrical storm reveals the vulnerability of the cellphone network ("Hey, does this old thing work?" a construction foreman asks, eyeing the dilapidated booth), causing the locals to reevaluate its worth. Cultural history of the best sort. Ages 5-7. (June)
School Library Journal
Gr 3–5—On the corner of West End Avenue and 100th Street in Manhattan there stands an old-fashioned phone booth, a superfluous fixture in our cell-phone world. This lonely phone booth, however, enjoys a happy ending after an electric storm shuts down the city. Finding their cell phones dead but the landlines in working order, a grateful neighborhood rallies to save the booth after a city crew threatens to haul it to the dump. Ackerman injects humor into the tale through a bevy of characters from everyday passersby (a construction foreman needing more cement and a Girl Scout calling for cookies) to the eccentric (a zookeeper looking for a lost elephant and a secret agent needing to change his disguise). Dalton adds wit and color with illustrations that are a combination of individual vignettes and full-page images. A well-paced story but probably most appealing to adults predisposed to preservation projects.—Barbara Elleman, Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, Amherst, MA

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781567925050
Publisher:
Godine, David R. Publishers, Inc.
Publication date:
06/06/2013
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
32
File size:
8 MB
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

Peter Ackerman co-wrote the movies Ice Age and Ice Age 3. His play Things You Shouldn’t Say Past Midnight has been staged around the world and published by Broadway Play Publishing. His adaptation for The Pajama Game won the TONY for Best Musical Revival.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >

The Lonely Phone Booth 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Rubenthereader More than 1 year ago
(i am 5) i think the pictures and story was great! (it was vary funny) i loved the dog talking on the sell phone.