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On the Hill
     

On the Hill

by Lisa Jahn-Clough
 

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Camille lives on one side of the hill, and Franzi lives on the other, but neither one knows that the other is there. They both love their own little houses and all of their animals, but something is missing. So one day Camille and Franzi each set off around the hill in search of someone with whom to dance, to share interesting conversations, and to tell stories at

Overview

Camille lives on one side of the hill, and Franzi lives on the other, but neither one knows that the other is there. They both love their own little houses and all of their animals, but something is missing. So one day Camille and Franzi each set off around the hill in search of someone with whom to dance, to share interesting conversations, and to tell stories at bedtime.
Readers of all ages will find good company in this simple, charming tale of finding love and making room for it to grow.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Set against an alpine backdrop, this modest tale of love overcoming obstacles radiates a simple charm through Jahn-Clough's (My Friend and I) trademark fine black line and color wash illustrations. Camille and Franzi, two Old World-looking peasants, live on opposite sides of a hill, not knowing the other exists but each desiring company. The text cleverly mirrors each of the characters' thoughts: "Camille loved her little house and all of her animals. But the animals wouldn't dance with her or carry on interesting conversations.... Franzi loved his little house and all of his animals.... But the animals wouldn't sing with him or tell him stories at bedtime." Repetition in the straightforward text underscores the simplicity of this universal human experience and complements the na ve paintings. An abundance of curvy lines, from the characters' sausage-like noses (which match their similarly shaped boots) to the bell-shaped roofs of their humble abodes, provides a comfy feel as well as a subtle note of humor. Loosely applied daubs of color and large brushstrokes add a welcome abstract touch. The warm oranges and yellows reflect the story's cheerful timbre as the two find each other and then creatively solve the problem of how to coexist comfortably with their animal broods. The book's small trim size emphasizes the couple's contented coziness at story's end. Ages 4-8. (Mar.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
Hemmed in by looming snow-capped mountains, divided by a hill, Camille and Franzi each live alone in a tiny house. Camille has her cats; Franzi has sheep, cows, and his lively brown dog. But solitude craves company. One day they set off around different sides of the hill and find each other. Unfortunately, living together in Franzi's house proves to be just too crowded and chaotic (all those animals!). Their discovery that love requires compromise and effort to make it work forms the moral of this short, instructive tale. With poster-bright colors, childlike characters, and lopsided mountains, the illustrations might have come from an art project at school—or not. Actually, the naiveté conceals a great deal of artfulness, as does the story. While short and simple, the tale could be interpreted in several ways; Franzi and Camille might be individuals or perhaps they are nations divided by formidable barriers (after all, Camille is French and Franzi evokes Mitteleuropa). Whatever young listeners and viewers choose to make of the plot, they will most likely enjoy the antics of the animals; the skies which can be dark blue, lavender, peach, or sunny yellow; and the busyness of constructing a new house from the two smaller ones. At the end, Camille and Franzi beam happily from a picture frame. Is it a wedding portrait? A smiling Franzi is sporting a tie, his arm encircling Camille, who wears a new pink and white dress and holds a bright bouquet. 2004, Houghton Mifflin, Ages 3 to 5.
—Barbara L. Talcroft
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2-A man and a woman live on opposite sides of a hill, with only their animals for company. Franzi and Camille crave companionship and someone to talk to. One day, they both set off to explore the other side of the hill, and each discovers the other's house, empty except for some cattle and cats. Finally, they meet at the top, where they dance and tell stories for hours, and decide that they must be together. After finding their individual houses too small to share, they dismantle their separate dwellings and build one large home where they can live with their animals. Cheery, cartoonish, childlike paintings illustrate this simple, satisfying tale. An additional purchase.-Sally R. Dow, Ossining Public Library, NY Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Camille and Franzi live-unbeknownst to one another-on opposite sides of a hill. They love their little homes and their animals, but they pine: Camille for some dancing and intelligent conversation, Franzi for song and bedtime stories. They find one another, but also find that their respective homes are too small for all and sundry. They are canny folk, though, and figure out a benign form of nuclear fusion: They take apart their domiciles and combine them. This is not just about two souls who find one another. Jahn-Clough has managed to evoke an unspecified time and place that feels very old and yet abiding and comforting-rendering it in a primitive style of art that makes the most of rolling hills and gladdening colors-a sort of idealized Eastern European rural life, minus all the toil and everyday grief. Somehow, it makes you feel that everything is going to be all right. (Picture book. 3-7)
From the Publisher

"Cheery, cartoonish, childlike paintings illustrate this simple, satisfying tale." School Library Journal

"The warm oranges and yellows reflect the story's cheerful timbre as the two find each other and then creatively solve the problem of how to coexist comfortably with their animal broods." Publishers Weekly

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780547562186
Publisher:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date:
03/29/2004
Sold by:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
32
File size:
19 MB
Note:
This product may take a few minutes to download.
Age Range:
5 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

Lisa Jahn-Clough has written and illustrated a number of books for young children, including Alicia Has a Bad Day, My Friend and I, Missing Molly, Simon and Molly Plus Hester, and On the Hill, as well as her debut young adult novel Country Girl, City Girl. She is the chair of the illustration program at Maine College of Art and also teaches at the Vermont College Writing for Children and Young Adults program. She lives in Portland, Maine.

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