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On Tumbledown Hill

Overview


Alberta Children's Book of the Year winner

Alberta Book Design Award winner

Alberta Illustration Award winner

In this wildly whimsical tale, a cautious but determined painter withstands the threats of a mob of monsters in order to pursue his art. But these monsters are bent on making mischief. What's an artist to do amidst all this chaos. While the energetic pranksters run ...

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Overview


Alberta Children's Book of the Year winner

Alberta Book Design Award winner

Alberta Illustration Award winner

In this wildly whimsical tale, a cautious but determined painter withstands the threats of a mob of monsters in order to pursue his art. But these monsters are bent on making mischief. What's an artist to do amidst all this chaos. While the energetic pranksters run amok, the painter resolves to stay put and paint-all day if he must. Gradually his desire to create outstrips his fear of the rambunctious rogues.

As the words diminish in On Tumbledown Hill with each page, the story is taken over by the hilarious witty revelations in the illustrations, and we discover who the monsters really are-a gang of unruly children out to have fun.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Carol Collins
This rhymed picture book is unique in its story matter and in the manner of telling it. It is a rambunctious tale of an artist and his pet rabbit who, while trying to paint and eat clover on top of Tumbledown Hill, are overrun by monster-children. Though fearful, the artist and rabbit manage to complete their tasks and seemingly get rid of the troublemakers. The text is contrived so that there are 26 sentences, the first sentence with 26 words and each subsequent sentence one word shorter till the last one-word sentence asks "where" [have the monsters gone?] The elaborate watercolor illustrations fill in the scene as it unfolds behind the gradually disappearing text. The monster-children are whimsical creatures dotted and striped in a rainbow of colors as if from an artist's palette. The final two-page spread of the artist's picture shows what actually happened to the imps. It's all very clever and entertaining, and invites the early reader to play with the words that are themselves blocked off as part of the reading and counting game. The book jacket is child-oriented with its shiny goblin-kids looking like stickers on a black background.
School Library Journal
Gr 2-4-An artist and his pet rabbit head to Tumbledown Hill, a location that provides a pastoral view for painting and clover for nibbling. However, 26 monsters soon disrupt the scene, turning tranquillity into playful chaos. The painter declares, "It's/much better/to paint/when you're scared/than to faint," and proceeds to ignore them until they've fled. Or have they? On his canvas, the artist has captured the unruly pranksters, who are children, as images in the hillside greenery and the rolling clouds. This book opens with a full page of large, blocked-letter words in bricklike frames. With each turn of the page, some of the word bricks disappear and are replaced by illustrations. The device used in the book is not made clear until the last page, when Wynne-Jones explains, "A story in twenty-six sentences-no more!/And every sentence is one word shorter/than the sentence before." Neither adults nor children will tumble to the gimmick until they find the note at the end. The crossword-like effect of the white blocked text set on top of colorful scenes is visually intriguing but the frenetic exercise in writing and word control seems meaningless. Why the number 26, which leads readers to expect something dealing with the alphabet? Why read a picture book that leaves them with more questions than answers?-Julie Cummins, New York Public Library Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780889954090
  • Publisher: Fitzhenry & Whiteside, Limited
  • Publication date: 4/17/2008
  • Pages: 32
  • Product dimensions: 10.70 (w) x 8.80 (h) x 0.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Dusan Petricic is an award-winning children's book designer and illustrator whose books include The Enormous Potato and Earthlings Inside and Out. He lives in Toronto, Ontario.

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