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Timmy Green's Blue Lake

Timmy Green's Blue Lake

by Donna Bergman, Ib Ohlsson (Illustrator)

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
By using a little imagination, Timmy Green creates a playland out of a blue plastic tarp in this rather dull picture book. The boy first lays out the sheet as the ``terribly treacherous'' Blue Lake, over which he captains a ship. The following morning Timmy's pal Sherry Lou ice-skates on the lake and slices it into strips, which Timmy transforms into a road and ultimately a high-flying kite. Bergman ( City Fox ) begins with an exciting and unpredictable premise, but never develops a cohesive story. Her somewhat stiff text reads like a series of disjointed vignettes, while the forced exchanges between Timmy and Sherry Lou consist of un-childlike dialogue. Ohlsson's illustrations glow with sunlight and often capture a spirit of adventure, but in a couple of spreads, his human figures resemble colorful blobs of paint. The inventive spirit of children's games has been more fancifully captured in numerous other picture books. Disappointingly, readers will quickly recognize that these youngsters have a less than captivating sense of fun. Ages 4-up. (Sept.)
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2-- Timmy Green lives in an idyllic world of lush trees, spacious lawns, no visible parents, and leisure time in which to pretend. One day, he finds a large sheet of blue plastic, the perfect ``lake'' on which to become a ship's captain. When Sherry Lou Sweet tells him scornfully, ``It can't be a lake. Doesn't look a bit like water,'' he tells her it's frozen, and she rips it when she skates on it. When Timmy pretends that the remaining blue strip of plastic is a road, Sherry Lou punctures it with her high heels. In the end, the last pieces of blue plastic become a kite. The book is too long for group sharing, but the writing is good, smoothly telling the story and projecting a lively and upbeat mood. The attractive illustrations in bright colors and bold brush strokes show sunny days in this suburban, pastoral landscape. However, there is a nostalgic aura to this idealized world that may appeal more to adults than to children. Also, Timmy seems just a bit too ingenious . Would a child young enough for this type of fantasy play really be capable of constructing a workable kite so easily? Or of building a lemonade stand on the spur of the moment? In any case, consider this a worthwhile addition, but not an essential purchase by any means. --Lauralyn Persson, Wilmette Public Library, IL
Kay Weisman
Young Timmy Green spies an old blue plastic tarp covering the woodpile. When he spreads it out on the lawn, it seems to ripple and flow; in Timmy's imagination it is transformed into Blue Lake, and he spends an exciting afternoon sailing. The next day, in colder weather, Blue Lake becomes a skating pond for Timmy and his neighbor, Sherry Lou. When Sherry's skates cut the tarp into strips, Timmy uses the pieces to make a road; and when the thoroughfare finally disintegrates, the two create a kite from the leftover scraps. Bergman's perceptions of boundless childhood imagination are right on target; Timmy and Sherry Lou's creativity is refreshing, and the concept of reusing and recycling to make play things is ecologically sound. Ohlsson's colorful paintings depict Timmy's real and imagined worlds with equal clarity. Useful as a catalyst to creative thinking or as an introduction to creative dramatics.

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Edition description:
1st ed
Age Range:
4 Years

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