The Sign Painter's Dream

The Sign Painter's Dream

by Roger Roth
     
 

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A spunky old woman's request and a rather unusual dream convince Crabby Clarence the sign painter to make the most glorious and magnificent sign of his career and then give it away.

Overview

A spunky old woman's request and a rather unusual dream convince Crabby Clarence the sign painter to make the most glorious and magnificent sign of his career and then give it away.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The illustrator of The Giraffe That Walked to Paris here offers an amusing picture book with a sportive spin on matters historical. An elderly sign painter nicknamed Crabby Clarence is constantly busy even though he takes little joy in his craft. When an old woman requests a ``glorious and magnificent'' sign advertising her surplus of apples, Clarence wants three hundred dollars, but this customer has other ideas: ``A hero is he who helps for free,'' she tells him. Then Clarence experiences a startling dream in which his hero, George Washington, declares similarly, ``Ye olde hero is he who helps people for free / Ye olde scoundrel, you see, doth charge them a fee.'' This dramatic visitation gives Clarence a new outlook--and picks up the tale's pace considerably. Roth imbues these zestful and believable characters with an infectious spirit all their own. Clarence's fondness for history just might be picked up by youngsters--one delightful scene shows the protagonist, complete with cat, taking the place of Washington in the famous ``crossing the Potomac'' painting. And the piece de resistance --the sign that Clarence does finally make for the old woman--is indeed magnificent in all its two-spread glory. A gentle charmer. Ages 4-8. (Apr.)
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
K-Gr 2-- Clarence the sign maker is crabby, and the only time he smiles is when he goes home at the end of the day to read his history books. When a woman appears in his shop and asks for a free sign to tell people that she has `` `free apples if you need `em,' '' he refuses. That night, in a dream, he is a sign painter in Revolutionary America, and his hero, George Washington, makes a similar request (only this time, the sign is to say `` `SEND SHOES TO VALLEY FORGE!' ''). In a quick turnaround, Clarence becomes the generous hero, makes a grand and glorious sign for the apple lady, and basically lives happily ever after. Historical fantasy and contemporary dilemmas are cleverly interwoven, and the plot is moved forward by snappy 1990s dialogue. Best of all are the lively characters portrayed in the watercolors. ``Crabby Clarence'' is undoubtedly cranky, as revealed by the glint in his eye, the set of his mouth, and every angle of his body. Pages are full of humorous detail: in Clarence's dream, he's laboring over a sign for ``Ye Olde Bologna,'' and even the pets are empathetic. Double-paged spreads emphasize the scale of the sign-painter's work. Here's a book that strikes the theme of generosity and does it with irresistible good humor. Great for read-alouds and independent reading. --Carolyn Noah, Central Mass. Regional Library System, Worcester, MA

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780517885413
Publisher:
Random House Children's Books
Publication date:
07/04/1995
Pages:
32
Product dimensions:
9.84(w) x 9.83(h) x 0.15(d)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

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