Up by Jim LaMarche | Hardcover | Barnes & Noble
Up

Up

by Jim LaMarche
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

Daniel was tired of being little. Mouse! They'd been calling him that since he was born. He hadn't used to mind it, even liked it once, but not anymore. He poked at some crackers on the table. "Someday I'll be so strong," he mumbled. "Someday . . ."

And then it happened. Something so strange, Daniel wasn't sure he could believe his eyes. One little cracker

Overview

Daniel was tired of being little. Mouse! They'd been calling him that since he was born. He hadn't used to mind it, even liked it once, but not anymore. He poked at some crackers on the table. "Someday I'll be so strong," he mumbled. "Someday . . ."

And then it happened. Something so strange, Daniel wasn't sure he could believe his eyes. One little cracker trembled for a second, then lifted up off the table. Not much. Not even an inch. Then, just as suddenly, it dropped right back down. Daniel blinked. Had that really happened? How? Had he done it?

Up is the story of an ordinary boy with an extraordinary talent, a talent no one knows about but him. Can Mouse really lift things off the ground? Or is it enough that he believes he can? Once again Jim LaMarche has mixed the magical with the everyday to create a book that stretches our imaginations and our dreams.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"LaMarche's lovely warm illustrations, in acrylic washes and colored pencil, match his gentle fantasy." Kirkus Reviews "

This is an inspiring and (yes) uplifting title about pursuing one's own talents and possibilities." School Library Journal

Publishers Weekly
LaMarche (The Rainbabies) gives his hero just one, strictly limited magical power. Daniel discovers that he can raise things off the ground by looking at them, but "never back and forth. Just up. And that, not much." The youngest son of a fisherman whose livelihood requires strength, he resents his nickname, "Mouse," and chafes at being left home while his brother helps on the boat. But once Daniel realizes he has lifted an oyster cracker with his will alone, he spends hours perfecting his new skill. The story unfolds in a series of cinematically paced scenes. LeMarche shows Daniel close-up as he practices on progressively heavier objects, then provides readers with a big smile a spread of Daniel's dad asleep in the living room, a newspaper across his lap, looking just like any other napping dad, except for the fact that he's hovering inches above the sofa. When a whale is beached near their home, the boy's gift frees the whale and wins Daniel a place on his father's boat. LaMarche's power to draft and tint his compositions appears almost casual; there's nothing, it seems, he can't draw. He depicts all the people and objects in the book, whether on the ground or suspended in mid-air, with the same enthusiastic objectivity. This matter-of-fact quality contributes to the story's magic. Ages 3-8. (Sept.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature - Ken Marantz
The tone for this tale touched with magic is set on the jacket. There we see the eyes of an almost life-size and very alive young boy watching as his fingers point to a glittering snail shell rising mysteriously into the air. The story itself begins quite realistically, with young David, feeling depressed at being called "Mouse," and told he is too small to go out fishing with his dad and brother Michael. "Someday...I'll show Michael..." he vows. Then to his surprise a cracker on the table rises a bit. He tries to repeat this and make something else move. As he practices, he finds he can move more things, but only up. He even moves his sleeping dad. He wonders what good this ability can do, until the day when a whale is stuck on the beach. With his help, the whale is saved. This seems enough to make Daniel's father realize the change in him and take him fishing the next day. There is a softness to the textured images created with acrylic washes and colored pencils resulting in a romantic naturalism. The end pages depict a few small stones and shells in sandy shallows, still now, but as we learn later, possible of unexpected movement. The emotion conveyed in the illustrations lifts the story beyond the ordinary.
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 3-Once again, LaMarche laces workaday reality with a little bit of magic. Daniel longs to join his father and older brother on the family fishing boat, but every day they leave him behind to help his mother instead. Between Michael's taunts and the whole family's condescending use of the pet name "Mouse," Daniel finds himself in an especially defiant mood during lunch one afternoon. "Someday I'll be so strong," he mutters, and, fueled by the sheer force of his will, an oyster cracker hops from the surface of the table in agreement. Delighted and surprised, the boy quietly cultivates his strange new talent, and soon he graduates from bathtub toys and fishbowls to much bigger, heavier objects. Levitation is a neat trick, but Daniel figures it's not really that useful-until the day a whale beaches itself on the shore and he gives it the boost it needs to ease back out to sea. The soft acrylics capture the low light, palpable chill, and blue-gray color scheme of Daniel's fishing village. This is an inspiring and (yes) uplifting title about pursuing one's own talents and possibilities.-Catherine Threadgill, Charleston County Public Library, SC Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
A boy discovers that he has telekinetic powers. Young Daniel is anxious to help his Dad and older brother Michael on their fishing boat, the Toni Marie, but they think he's too young; they even call him Mouse. Sulking in the kitchen, Daniel stares so intensely at a cracker that it begins to rise off the table. Excited, Daniel begins secretly to practice, with a toy boat in the bathtub, a beach rock, a paper airplane. His big chance to prove himself comes when a whale is washed ashore. A half dozen men, including Dad and Michael, try unsuccessfully to budge it. Daniel looks deep into the whale's eye, closes his own eyes to concentrate and, after several seconds, the whale slowly rises, swishes his tail and swims away. Everybody cheers; do they notice what Daniel has done? Dad tells Daniel he better get to bed early, because the Toni Marie leaves at dawn. LaMarche's lovely warm illustrations, in acrylic washes and colored pencil, match his gentle fantasy. (Picture book. 5-10)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780811844451
Publisher:
Chronicle Books LLC
Publication date:
08/03/2006
Pages:
32
Product dimensions:
9.50(w) x 11.25(h) x 0.50(d)
Age Range:
1 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

Jim LaMarche has been mixing magic with the everyday since 1992, when his illustrations for Laura Krauss Melmed's The Rainbabies earned him international acclaim, winning the Prix de Bologna in 1993. He is the father of three boys and lives with his wife in Central California.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >