Rose and Sebastian

Overview

Rose lives in an apartment building in New York City. She has never before been afraid of loud noises. She isn't afraid of cars honking, sirens blaring, dogs barking, or the ice cream man's bell. But she is afraid of the noises coming from the apartment upstairs. Sebastian lives upstairs, and nothing makes more noise than Sebastian. One day Rose feels particularly brave and ventures upstairs to meet the noisy Sebastian. Before long she has a new friend and is just as loud as he is. Young readers will cheer as ...
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Overview

Rose lives in an apartment building in New York City. She has never before been afraid of loud noises. She isn't afraid of cars honking, sirens blaring, dogs barking, or the ice cream man's bell. But she is afraid of the noises coming from the apartment upstairs. Sebastian lives upstairs, and nothing makes more noise than Sebastian. One day Rose feels particularly brave and ventures upstairs to meet the noisy Sebastian. Before long she has a new friend and is just as loud as he is. Young readers will cheer as Rose transforms her fear of the unknown into a satisfying new friendship.

Rose is frightened by the noises coming from the apartment upstairs, but then she and her mother pay a visit to the boy who lives there.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Rose and her mother live amid the "CHATTER BANG WHOOSH WHOOSH RING-A-LING SWISH SWISH" of New York, but nothing makes more noise than their upstairs neighbor, Sebastianor, as Rose pronounces it, "martian." Readers know from the start that Sebastian is just an older boy, but Rose needs to see him to make sure that the "ARRGH ARRGH ARRGH" he emits isn't coming from a monster. When the two finally meet, Rose finds Sebastian's boisterousness silly, not scary, and he indulgently plays with her; that night, Rose hears a thump from above and yells a fearless "Goodnight, martian!" In her first children's book, poet Zarin playfully demystifies Sebastian's loud antics and shows how Rose conquers her fear. However, the book's audience is likely to have more in common with the older child than with little Rose, whose speech consists of a simple "Scared," "Soon" or a quizzical "That?" Durham, also making a picture book debut, accentuates the age difference by sketching Rose as a preschooler with a round, stick-figure's face and by portraying Sebastian as a tall, angular grade-schooler. Her unified yet ingenuous ink line drawings, colored with gouache and emboldened by jazzy patterns, fill and frame each page of the square-format book, featuring novel views (such as from the ceiling of an elevator) and whimsical flourishes. Ages 4-8. (Sept.)
Children's Literature - Alexandria LaFaye
In this delightful tale of a young girl's fear of the noises coming from an upstairs apartment, Zarin examines the way small children see older children. Young Rose lives in a New York City apartment. She's afraid of all the noises she can hear coming from the apartment above. Her mother tells her the noises are made by a boy name Sebastian. When that doesn't calm Rose's fears, her mother takes her to meet Sebastian. Rose is awed by the older boy and soon begins to mimic his noisy ways. These noises become a way for Rose and Sebastian to communicate through the floor. Durham's child-like drawings add another layer to this wonderful portrayal of a young child's view of her world.
Children's Literature - Joyce Rice
Rose lives in an apartment building in New York City. From her apartment, she can see snowplows in winter and the ice cream man in the park in the summer. She can hear dogs barking and cars honking and fire engines traveling to a fire. Rose likes her apartment in the city and she is not afraid of any of the noises she hears outside. She is afraid of the noises she hears inside, coming from upstairs. Sebastian lives upstairs, above Rose's apartment. All during the day, Rose hears noises coming from upstairs, but when she asks her mother about them, her mother just says "Oh, that's just Sebastian." Finally, one day when Rose is feeling particularly brave, she asks her mother to take her to see Sebastian. Her encounter with Sebastian will help us as teachers and parents to show young children that sometimes the things we are afraid of go away when we see them up close. A delightful book filled with child-like illustrations.
School Library Journal
PreS-KPreschooler Rose lives in New York City and is not afraid of all the street noises. But she is concerned about the unattributed sounds coming from the apartment above, all made by Sebastian. Who or what is Sebastian? Finally, she asks to see Sebastian, and she and her mother go upstairs where the boy obligingly yells, races down the hall, sticks his tongue out at a mirror, and bounces a basketball. Satisfied, and with a potential new older friend, Rose returns to her own apartment and shouts goodnight to Sebastian who, up above, is surprised. Well-designed illustrations, some framed in cheerful doodles, feature primitive line drawings often rendered in childlike simplicity. Small children will notice the illogical and pictorially unexplained but ever-present turtle and wonder if it is real or stuffed. The use of light-colored pastel gouache further softens this story of facing what bothers you. A nice supplement to the preschool read-aloud shelf on overcoming fears.Susan Hepler, Burgundy Farm Country Day School, Alexandria, VA
New York Times Book Review
Brave Rose lives in a New York City apartment building. She's fearless about city street sounds but deeply alarmed by the noises coming from the upstairs neighbor, Sebastian....Nicely angular illustrations. -- New York Times Book Review
Kirkus Reviews
A tale of two kids in the city shows Rose conquering her fears and making a new friend. Of all the noises New York City can produce, the ones that frighten Rose (who looks about four) are those she hears over her head, made by her upstairs neighbor. Even though her mother tells her "it's just Sebastian," Rose asks to meet the boy, and a mother-summit results in a tea party where the riled-up boy demonstrates his lung power up close. "ARRGH ARRGH ARRGH," he likes to scream. Rose laughs and they show each other their toys; that night in bed, Rose shakes up Sebastian with some screeching of her own. According to the illustration, Sebastian takes this surprise in stride. Accomplished, stylized drawings help put the lighthearted story across, and Zarin offers not only a glimpse of apartment life, but establishes Rose as a captivating heroine who wants to overcome her fears, and does.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780395759202
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 9/1/1997
  • Format: Library Binding
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 5 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 0.42 (w) x 8.35 (h) x 0.40 (d)

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