Sebastian's Roller Skates

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In this story about the power of self-confidence Sebastian is a reserved boy to the point of stifling shyness. He lives with his thoughts unable to express himself to others though full of fascinating ideas. When an abandoned pair of roller skates piques his interest he tires to learn to skate with a quiet determination. An impromptu rescue of a runaway dog proves the impetus he needs to use his new skills on skates - instilling him with confidence and unleashing his self-restraint. Sebastians triumph provides ...
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Overview

In this story about the power of self-confidence Sebastian is a reserved boy to the point of stifling shyness. He lives with his thoughts unable to express himself to others though full of fascinating ideas. When an abandoned pair of roller skates piques his interest he tires to learn to skate with a quiet determination. An impromptu rescue of a runaway dog proves the impetus he needs to use his new skills on skates - instilling him with confidence and unleashing his self-restraint. Sebastians triumph provides inspiration for timid readers to seek out their own strengths. - Kirkus Reviews
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Sebastian may have a couple of spills as he learns to roller skate, but this tale from a Spanish team never takes a misstep. The young hero's shyness stops him from saying all he wants to, and from approaching his schoolmate Ester (she "had curly hair and eyes the color of honey"). A pair of roller skates he finds in a park fascinates him, and as Sebastian masters this new skill, he also finds the courage to say more. Rovira's confident caricature-style human figures all share the same wide-open eyes and stubby, squared-off noses; by contrast, he distinguishes objects in minute details, with addresses lettered on packing boxes and bulletin boards crowded with drawings and announcements. The artist has great fun rendering the story of Sebastian's interior life, gluing a dense trail of dreary black-and-white newspaper scraps above Sebastian's head to signal his trapped thoughts in the opening scenes, then scattering brilliantly colored scraps and photographs as the boy brims with opinions he says aloud: "And this time I don't want my head to look like a billiard ball!" he tells the barber. He even invites Ester to go skating. Sebastian's transformation emerges naturally, rather than from methods or techniques. He discovers the skates, practices hard and persistently, and his new abilities unfold on their own. Shy readers may well emerge with the feeling that change is indeed possible. Ages 5-9. (Oct.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
School Library Journal
K-Gr 3-Sebastian always has a lot to say, but he is too shy to speak up. He won't answer in class, tell the barber that he doesn't like his haircut, or talk to his neighbors. He is especially shy around the curly haired girl he likes at school. Then one day, Sebastian finds an abandoned pair of roller skates and tries them on. At first, he falls down and decides that skating is not for him. However, these mysterious skates won't go away and eventually he is gliding through the park. Soon, with his newfound courage, he is talking in spite of himself-after all, he has always had a lot to say. The cartoon illustrations tell what the text cannot, as a collage of torn-paper "thoughts" spills from Sebastian's head whenever he wants to talk. The collages start out in black and white but as Sebastian grows more confident and begins to share his thoughts aloud, they erupt into full color. Careful observers will notice that details from previous spreads reappear a few pages later in Sebastian's thoughts and that any text in his mind and in the art itself are in Spanish as this book was originally published in Spain. There is much to be savored in this story of self-discovery, and young audiences will find something new with each rereading.-Julie Roach, Watertown Free Public Library, MA Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
In this story about the power of self-confidence, Sebastian is a reserved boy to the point of stifling shyness. He lives within his thoughts, unable to express himself to others, though full of fascinating ideas. When an abandoned pair of roller skates piques his interest, he tries to learn to skate with a quiet determination. Alas, his fear of falling down and failing prevents him from becoming proficient. An impromptu rescue of a runaway dog provides the impetus he needs to use his new skills on skates-instilling him with confidence and unleashing his self-restraint. Rovira skillfully conveys the changing tenor of Sebastian's moods in a distinctive manner: The illustrations are primarily full-bleed watercolor and ink; however, he uses his collages to indicate Sebastian's internal thoughts. At first, the collages consist of monochromatic ripped pieces of paper, full of detail, but in blacks and grays. As Sebastian overcomes his reticence, the collages increase in clarity and vibrancy until tale's end where they become a torrent of joyful, brightly colored images. Sebastian's triumph provides inspiration for timid readers to seek out their own strengths. (Picture book. 5-9)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781929132812
  • Publisher: Kane/Miller Book Publishers
  • Publication date: 9/28/2005
  • Pages: 40
  • Age range: 5 - 9 Years
  • Lexile: AD730L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 11.00 (w) x 8.70 (h) x 0.40 (d)

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