Oops!

Overview


In a distinctive oversize package and illustrated with Joëlle Jolivet’s signature retro, eye-catching style, Oops! follows a family through the streets of Paris as they try to get to the airport for their vacation. Back at their apartment, their house-sitting aunt slips on some soap, setting off a chain reaction of events that create some extreme roadblocks for the family’s trip. A movie shoot, a parade, policemen, rampaging bears, aliens, and much more collide in this remarkable new picture book adventure. The ...
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Overview


In a distinctive oversize package and illustrated with Joëlle Jolivet’s signature retro, eye-catching style, Oops! follows a family through the streets of Paris as they try to get to the airport for their vacation. Back at their apartment, their house-sitting aunt slips on some soap, setting off a chain reaction of events that create some extreme roadblocks for the family’s trip. A movie shoot, a parade, policemen, rampaging bears, aliens, and much more collide in this remarkable new picture book adventure. The book includes a gatefold page at the end that explains in detail the train of chaos on the previous pages.
 

Praise for 365 Penguins
Boston Globe–Horn Book Honor Award
New York Times bestseller
Publishers Weekly bestseller
Seen on Martha TV
Heard on NPR
 
“Pièce de résistance . . . a real treat.” —Daniel Pinkwater
 
“Integrates challenging math concepts and environmental concerns into a clever narrative . . . Units on penguins and global warming will never be the same.” —School Library Journal
 
“It’s the fun of the rapidly multiplying penguin horde that carries the book” —Chicago Tribune
 

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In this cumulative, confounding comedy, a family races to catch a plane. As the parents and two children catch a taxi outside their Paris apartment, their aunt accidentally squirts a bar of soap out the window: "Oops!" A bicyclist swerves, the taxi crashes, and a traffic jam ensues, delaying the vacationers. Soon the whole city is in an uproar--bears escape the zoo, a skateboarding elephant disrupts a motorcade--all due to the soap. Reprising the oversize format and pared-down illustrations of 365 Penguins, Fromental and Jolivet picture the events in thick patches of saturated teal, blue-violet, fuchsia, and apple green; the travelers wear orange and stay visible amid the cluttered spreads. The busy sequence exudes high anxiety, yet the chaotic crowd scenes are nearly illegible. At the conclusion, a gatefold titled "the chain of catastrophes" provides thumbnails of every spread and explains why the events took place. Without this appendix, key details (like the pink "strawberry syrup" leaking from a barge) are not communicated. Readers are likely to side with daughter Amy, who admits near the end, "I don't understand at all." Ages 4–up. (May)
Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
Just before the family is to leave for vacation our young narrator's Aunt Roberta, the house-sitter, is taking a shower when, "OOPS!" the soap flies out the window. Thus begins a frantic journey through Paris to the airport, with ninety minutes to get to the plane. Their taxi driver crashes into a fuse box while avoiding a mailman on a bicycle who has slipped on the soap. Traffic lights out, no cars moving, the family dashes to the subway. Unfortunately train service is suspended because a convict has escaped. The chaos spreads as bears are on the loose from the zoo, a load of cement sends a cement mixer into a barge full of strawberry syrup, a Ferris wheel spins off its axis, and the story proceeds through forty catastrophes as the family misses their plane. How they get to Djerba anyway makes for an amusing surprise ending, along with a lesson on the consequences of small events. This large-size book has double pages completely filled with masses of people, vehicles, animals, etc., all actively interacting. Figures and objects are produced as flat shapes with no modeling. The pages are designed to emphasize the energy of the interactions along with the humor. A final foldout page lists the forty catastrophes to trace through the chain reaction. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
Gr 2–4—Published in the same large format and featuring the same family as 365 Penguins (Abrams, 2006), this book attempts to demonstrate the law of unintended consequences. The family's struggle to catch a flight is complicated when a bar of errant soap flies out of their apartment window and becomes the impetus for an ever-increasing and chaotic chain of disasters. As they dodge; run; and ride a subway, bus, limo, bike, and scooter in a Chaplin-esque flurry to get to the airport, there are epic disasters around them that result one from the other. Two bears that escaped from the zoo appear on each spread and form a leitmotif throughout the bedlam. The text ostensibly narrates the family's saga, ignoring the causes and results of the tumult that the art is depicting. Because so much is happening in the bold but busy graphic illustrations, it is often difficult to pinpoint exactly what the consequences are. The book provides a "chain of catastrophes" explanation with numbered thumbnails at the end but even with this prompt, it is difficult to put all the pieces together when paging back and forth. Older children might be intrigued enough to pore over this book, but the pandemonium, coupled with the oblique text, may be too puzzling for younger readers to decipher.—Marge Loch-Wouters, La Crosse Public Library, WI
Kirkus Reviews
A mad dash through Paris to catch a plane involves a family in the most improbable adventures ever imagined. Aunt Roberta slips on the soap, their taxi driver swerves to avoid the mailman, there are huge traffic jams all around and the subway suspends service. They try bikes, running through sewers and using every available conveyance, but of course they miss the plane. Some accommodating extraterrestrials return a bar of soap, cryptically mention cause-and-effect relationships and offer their spaceship in lieu of the missed plane. The text provides no further explanation for this lunacy, and the mayhem is made even more bizarre in Jolivet's bright, busy illustrations filled with frantic energy. There are bears, bee swarms, pink water in the Seine, clowns, motorcades, parachutes, fireworks, helicopters and lots of other oddities on the oversized pages. The "chain of catastrophes" is explained on the last foldout page with a numbered key to the events (unfortunately in tiny, light-gray print). But young readers will pore over the pages, laugh out loud and just enjoy. Fun for anyone willing to surrender to the looniness. (Picture book. 5-10)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780810987494
  • Publisher: Abrams, Harry N., Inc.
  • Publication date: 5/1/2010
  • Pages: 42
  • Sales rank: 658,420
  • Age range: 4 years
  • Product dimensions: 11.20 (w) x 14.30 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Jean-Luc Fromental is the author of about thirty books, including novels, travelogues, children’s books, and comics. He also writes for film, television, and newspapers. Joëlle Jolivet is an internationally acclaimed illustrator. Publishers Weekly has called her books “vibrant . . . dazzling,” and School Library Journal said they “are as aesthetically impressive as they are informative.”

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