The Van Gogh Cafe

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Overview

Magic is always the special of the day at the Van Gogh Cafe in this series ofvignettes from Newbery medalist Cynthia Ryland.

The Van Gogh Cafe, located in Flowers, Kansas, has magic in its walls, causing strange and mysterious events to occur there.

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Overview

Magic is always the special of the day at the Van Gogh Cafe in this series ofvignettes from Newbery medalist Cynthia Ryland.

The Van Gogh Cafe, located in Flowers, Kansas, has magic in its walls, causing strange and mysterious events to occur there.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Within the walls of a small Kansas restaurant there is magic to cure all manner of ills. In PW's words, "Newbery Medalist Rylant breaks new ground in producing this whimsical tale, dexterously weaving extraordinary events into the fabric of ordinary life." Ages 8-12. Feb.
Children's Literature - Dr. Judy Rowen
Flowers, Kansas is a flat place where anything that happens gets noticed. Each chapter of this book is a brief vignette about the people who frequent the Van Gogh Cafe, and the magic that happens in their lives as a result. The diners at the cafe (and its owners) all are touched with the beauty of the commonplace, and leave with a profound satisfaction with their lot in life. It is a quick read, but also a lot deeper than the slim volume appears.
Children's Literature - Judy Silverman
The Van Gogh Cafe is a very strange place. There is a mysterious magic in the air, and things happen that don't - no, can't - happen anywhere else in the world. Each chapter is a new story about the people and things that make Flowers, Kansas such an interesting place to work and live. The absence of illustrations means that the reader's imagination is forced to work overtime.
Children's Literature - Deborah Zink Roffino
The most extraordinary things happen at this little diner in the heart of Kansas. Stronger readers meet a series of common folk who are forever touched by the magic at the cafe.
Ilene Cooper
With her usual mix of elegance and down-to-earthness, Rylant offers seven vignettes of life at the Van Gogh Cafe. Situated off I-70 in Flowers, Kansas, the caf formerly an old movie theater is run by Marc and his 10-year-old daughter, Clara, who appreciate the magic that comes from the cafe's very walls. A possum turns up upside down, actually and is responsible for a widower's finding new meaning for his life. An aged film star and the man he loved many years ago are reunited in death at the cafe. Rylant's works can be deceptively simple on the surface, but there are layers to probe here. Some children may not wish to; even with magic in the walls and Clara hovering about, there's an adult, occasionally indulgent, sensibility that also permeates. But others will enjoy the odd cast of characters and Rylant's ability to turn a phrase, which can be quite magical in its own right.
From the Publisher
"Newbery Medalist Rylant breaks new ground in producing this whimsical tale, dexterously weaving extraordinary events into the fabric of ordinary life."—Publishers Weekly

 
"Full of uncanny observations and wry wisdom."—The New Yorker

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781417761197
  • Publisher: San Val
  • Publication date: 9/28/2006
  • Format: Library Binding
  • Pages: 53
  • Product dimensions: 5.10 (w) x 7.44 (h) x 0.45 (d)

Meet the Author

CYNTHIA RYLANT is the acclaimed author of more than a hundred books for young people, including the new poetry volume Ludie's Life; the beloved Mr. Putter & Tabby series; the Henry and Mudge series; and the novel Missing May, which received the Newbery Medal. She lives in Portland, Oregon.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 12 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(4)

4 Star

(3)

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(2)

2 Star

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1 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 12 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 7, 2009

    Beware of hidden agenda in this book

    As a teacher of adolescents, I previewed and read this book as a potential reading project for my students. I have enjoyed other Rylant books, so I was disappointed to discover that there was a chapter in the middle of the story that dealt with an old man lamenting over a lost lover, another male. I don't appreciate authors using children's literature as a way to infiltrate mainstream education for the purpose of perpetuating his/her own personal agenda. Teachers beware.

    1 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted November 18, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by Carrie Spellman for TeensReadToo.com

    The Van Gogh Café is magic. Nobody knows quite how or why, but they all agree that it is. Nobody knows it better than ten-year-old Clara. She helps her dad, Marc, run the café. Clara knows how much the café loves stories, and the small stories don't often stay small for long. <BR/><BR/>To the people in Flowers, Kansas, who have been going to the café all of their lives, the unbelievable is pretty normal, and the impossible seems quite possible. Anything can happen at the Van Gogh Café. <BR/><BR/>From lost loves found, to a cat that falls in love with a seagull. From food that cooks itself, to magically multiplying muffins. From prophetic poetry on napkins, to a possum that helps a man find his life again. You never know what you might find at the Van Gogh Café. <BR/><BR/>I love it! <BR/><BR/>My only complaint is that it's too short and I want more! My only question is, can I please go visit? Maybe even work there? Oh, that's two questions.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 2, 2006

    What our class thinks about the book.

    The Van Gogh Cafe is a good book because you can never predict what is going to happen next. It was a whole bunch of stories put together that happened at the cafe.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 8, 2005

    Sorry, but boring! ! !

    I generally really like Cynthia Rylant but it just was like she was trying to fit to many fantastical things into one small book. By doing so she over did it. I think it's boring.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 11, 2004

    Very Much recomended

    This is a book that you can't stop reading! I recomend it to most! It is magic, in a different way! ! ! ! ! ! !

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 5, 2002

    It's an awsome book

    i loved it it's so cool it's about a cafe that was built over a theater since it was built over a theater it's magic.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 18, 2002

    'Magical'

    The Van Gogh Cafe is a magical cafe. Clara and Marc own the cafe. Clara is Marc's daughter. Magic always happens there. Maybe because the cafe was once a theater, and some of the theater's old magic is left in the walls. . The magic begins with a possum that makes a daily visit. Although not interested in the food folks bring it from the restaurant, other animals congregate to eat. This inspires a lonely man to turn his farm into a home for stray animals. I think Cynthia Rylant wrote this book to Entertain children.I think this book is fascinating!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 21, 2001

    MAKES YOU BELEIVE IN MIRACLES

    This breath taking book is not just for kids, it's a family book. It really teaches a great lesson in that to have faith and to believe in miracles on simple people

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 4, 2000

    ANOTHER RYLANT MASTERPIECE!

    A moving and inspirational story of a cafe that used to be a theater, and the magic that inhabits it. Children and adults of all ages will love this story, and read it over and over again.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 11, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted August 4, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 8, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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