Roller Coaster

Roller Coaster

by O'Malley

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
On a summery day, the heroine of this lackluster picture book visits Fantasy Park, where she and her family play putt-putt golf and pose for silly photos. They all wear T-shirts touting the ``Monster Coaster,'' but when they arrive at the main attraction, the girl is pronounced too small to ride. With this moment, the book's tone shifts-the expressive, variable-size typeface, heretofore swooping across spreads in gleeful mimickery of the roller coaster, scrolls dispiritedly along the bottom of the page. But all is not lost. The narrator's winter growth spurt is depicted via before-and-after illustrations, scribbled in a childlike hand. By the following spread, a year has passed, and the much taller girl demands her rightful seat in the coaster's front car. O'Malley's (Cinder-Edna) full-bleed spreads seem captured in a wide-angle lens or a funhouse mirror; hot colors, melting ice-cream cones and glaring white space convey the midday heat. However, the character's anguish and exhilaration are never quite so vivid-the story line has neither peaks nor valleys. Ages 4-up. (May)
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
K-Gr 3This fun, fast-paced trip to an amusement park will be enjoyed by young children, especially those with fond memories of their first roller-coaster ride. O'Malley's busy paintings have a slightly exaggerated cartoon look, but are realistic enough to evoke recognition and identification in his readers. The brief text swoops and swells, with changes in type size clearly revealing the young narrator's feelings as she recounts her family's visit to ``awesome'' Fantasy Park. From her good luck at the ring toss (where she wins a very large green-and-purple dinosaur with a distinct resemblance to you-know-who) to an enormously delicious ice cream cone (with sprinkles!), the red-haired little girl is having big fun...until she tries to ride the roller coaster. Despite standing on tip-toe next to the clown cut-out, she's just too short. But that was last year, and this year she's definitely tall enough to ride the ``Monster Coaster,'' much to her father's evident dismay. The child's keen disappointment and thrilling triumph are cleverly shown in a deliberately child-like double-page spread that shows the girl's scratchy, colored-pencil drawing of before (she's much smaller than the ``evil clown'') and after (she's much taller now, and sports spiffy new glasses, too). Wonderfully evocative and winsomely amusing, this Roller Coast won't stay parked on the shelf for long.Lisa Dennis, The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh
Mary Harris Veeder
Last year's visit to Fantasy Park was, up to a point, "awesome," according to the narrator of this colorful picture book. The illustrations, often angled as if from a child's point of view, show the narrator having a good time, and the large-type text swoops up and down the pages with the abandon of a carnival ride. How will this year's visit to the park be better? Last year "I was too short" to ride the Monster Coaster. "But this year I GREW." There won't be a child who doesn't rejoice in the narrator's triumph over the clown whose nose is the height marker for the ride. A great idea for a picture book, well executed.

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Edition description:
1st ed
Product dimensions:
8.85(w) x 11.31(h) x 0.38(d)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

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