Paper John

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Overview

Paper John moves to a little town by the edge of the sea and makes his living folding beautiful paper flowers, birds, and boats. HE is so skilled he even makes a paper house to live in. And he is so gentle and good-natured that the townsfolk all agree he could get along with the devil himself. But when a devil comes to town, Paper John's skill and patience is put to the test as he does battle with the devil and his one devilish trick. Lively full-color paintings add to all the ...

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Overview

Paper John moves to a little town by the edge of the sea and makes his living folding beautiful paper flowers, birds, and boats. HE is so skilled he even makes a paper house to live in. And he is so gentle and good-natured that the townsfolk all agree he could get along with the devil himself. But when a devil comes to town, Paper John's skill and patience is put to the test as he does battle with the devil and his one devilish trick. Lively full-color paintings add to all the fun.

David Small is the illustrator of many books for children, including Anna and the Seven Swans, a Booklist Editor's Choice and a School Library Journal Best Book for 1984. His most recent book, Imogene's Antlers, is a 1986 Reading Rainbow Feature Selection. This is his first book with Farrar, Straus and Giroux. Mr. Small lives in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

A good-hearted fellow who lives by the sea in a paper house and makes paper boats for the village children comes up against the devil in a life or death situation which can be salvaged only by his skill with paper folding.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
A paper-folding man by the name of John becomes hero to an entire town in Small's inventive and funny tale. Ages 3-up. (Apr.)
School Library Journal
Gr 1-3 Young John makes his living selling paper toys, flowers, kites, and favors. He wears a paper hat, sleeps in a paper bed, even his house is made of paperand a good thing, too, for when an angry imp has the whole town blown out to sea, John refolds his house into a boat and sails to the rescue. Readers who enjoyed Small's Imogene's Antlers (Crown, 1985) will find the same sort of witty, slightly antique-looking illustrations here. John wears baggy 19th-Century clothes and a genial expression; the diminutive devil, all in gray, scowls his way ferociously through the story; and Small scatters cats, children, and accurately-rendered paper objects all about. Besides being a terrific, imaginative story, this is a natural for use with origami; there is a feasible progression from one model to another (no step-by-step directions, though), and the transformation of house to boat, which occurs over several pages, captures paperfolding's creative magic perfectly. John Peters, New York Public Library
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780374457259
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
  • Publication date: 4/28/1989
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 5 - 8 Years
  • Lexile: AD630L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 7.98 (w) x 9.60 (h) x 0.11 (d)

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  • Posted February 4, 2010

    One of my Favorites...

    One of David Small's first books, Paper John is a beautifully illustrated story that was one of my favorites as a child. The pictures are lavish and bright, and extremely imaginative. The basic premise of the book is a man who creates everything through folding paper, and eventually saves the town.

    On a side note, I've lived a few hundred yards downstream of Mr. Small for the past 10 years in the small town of Mendon, Michigan, and I've read all of the books his and his wife, Sarah Stewart, have created over the past three decades. They are gracious, generous people, and I find Paper John to be one of his finest works.

    Give it a chance!

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