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Home » Books » Children's » Fiction » Family » Siblings


By Anthony Browne

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Format: Paperback, 32 pages
Published In: United Kingdom, 01 June 2008
A new edition of an outstanding picture book by one of the most popular of all contemporary author/illustrators.On Thursday morning at a quarter past ten, Joseph Kaye notices something odd about the kettle... Thus begins a remarkable day for Joseph, a day in which everything seems to change in the most peculiar of ways. The washbasin grows feet, the armchair becomes a gorilla, his bicycle wheel turns into an apple ... Joseph's father had said when he'd left that morning that everything was going to change. But what had he meant? The book explores the boy's state of mind as he prepares for the return of his parents with his new baby sister.

About the Author

Anthony Browne is one of the most popular and stylistically distinctive children's book artists with a number of outstanding titles to his credit. Gorilla was the winner of the Kate Greenaway Medal and the Kurt Maschler Award. Other titles include four books featuring Willy the lovable chimp: Willy the Wimp (9780744543636); Willy the Champ (9780744543568); Willy the Dreamer (9780744569643) and Willy's Pictures (9780744582406) as well as the picture books Into the Forest (9781844285594) and Silly Billy (9781406305760). In 2000, Anthony received the highest international honour for illustration, the Hans Christian Andersen Award, for his services to children's literature - the first British illustrator to win the prize since 1956.


``On Thursday morning at a quarter past ten, Joseph Kaye noticed something strange about the kettle,'' reads the intriguing first line of this imaginative picture book. Joseph's father tells his son that ``things were going to change,'' and Joseph watches as the teakettleok turns into a striped cat, the spout of the sink becomes a nose, a soccer ball loses its spots and hatches a bird. Without alarming the reader, Browne ( Willy the Wimp ; Gorilla ) continues the ominous--and humorous--panorama of changes until Joseph's parents return and introduce him to the change his father meant in the first place: his new baby sister. In less skilled hands, the simple device of the transformation of ordinary objects might grow tiresome, but youngsters have learned to expect the unexpected from Browne, and will not be disappointed as Joseph's anxieties are resolved satisfyingly. Browne's illustrations are witty and distinctive, and observant readers will especially enjoy Browne's sly allusions to popular culture and famous works of art. Ages 4-8. (Mar.)

Browne's meticulously unpredictable illustrations create an extraordinary atmosphere. * The Guardian * Again, Anthony Browne deals with an important issue in his individual and fascinating way. * Child Education * Exceptional Illustrations * Independent on Sunday *

K-Gr 3-- A multilayered tale of the effects of a young boy's imagination. Joseph Kaye is left home alone while his father picks up his mother. Before he leaves, he tells Joseph that things are ``going to change.'' At a quarter past ten, Joseph notices that the teakettle slowly metamorphoses into a cat; a slipper becomes a bird. The bathroom sink takes on human qualities: a pants leg, lips, nose. And so it continues throughout the house and the yard where the garden hose becomes an elephant's trunk and Joseph's bicycle wheel becomes an apple. Finally Joseph retreats to the darkness of his room until his parents appear--with his new baby sister. A fantasy strongly reminiscent of The Tunnel (Knopf, 1989), this book does not have the overt humor of Piggybook (Knopf, 1986) or the ``Willy'' books (Random). Although a provocative and intriguing concept that is beautifully and skillfully illustrated, its very visual premise limits its use. Without the guidance of an adult, many young readers, while still delighting in the pictorial alterations , might miss the point of these changes and, thus, the story completely. And most youngsters will not recognize the references to famous works of art or the many other small, pointed details that foreshadow the action. Although many children may be held at a distance by a lack of understanding, this is still an exciting and thought-provoking book. Devoted fans of Browne's work as well as larger collections that appeal to a wide range of esoteric tastes will find a place for it. --Jane Marino, White Plains Public Library, NY

EAN: 9781406313390
ISBN: 1406313394
Publisher: Walker Books Ltd
Dimensions: 29.8 x 24.8 x 0.4 centimetres (0.21 kg)
Age Range: 2-4 years
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1 review(s)
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Customer on
A great story for any child who is nervously expecting the arrival of a new baby in the house. Things are changing and the pictures illustrate that things are not as they seem. Very clever illustrations that bring a complete story of it's own to the text. Kids will be fascinated and the illustrations will generate alot of discussion.

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