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A Day in the Life of Murphy
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About the Author

Alice Provensen is the author and illustrator of Murphy in the City, A Day in the Life of Murphy, and Klondike Gold. She collaborated with her late husband, Martin, on many other highly acclaimed picture books, including the Caldecott Medal-winning The Glorious Flight and Nancy Willard's Newbery Medal-winning A Visit to William Blake's Inn, which was also a Caldecott Honor Book. The Provensens have been on the New York Times list of the Ten Best Illustrated Books eight times. Alice lives in California. Alice Provensen is the author and illustrator of Murphy in the City, A Day in the Life of Murphy, and Klondike Gold. She collaborated with her late husband, Martin, on many other highly acclaimed picture books, including the Caldecott Medal-winning The Glorious Flight and Nancy Willard's Newbery Medal-winning A Visit to William Blake's Inn, which was also a Caldecott Honor Book. The Provensens have been on the New York Times list of the Ten Best Illustrated Books eight times. Alice lives in California.

Reviews

PreS-Gr 2-Meet "Murphy-Stop-That," the yippy little terrier starring in this first-person (or should we say first-dog) account. Murphy's peripatetic, wide-eyed, tail-wagging personality is foreshadowed in endpapers covered with his zippy little paw prints. There is not much plot here, but Murphy's breathlessly running commentary to himself on everything from the importance of being first into the kitchen in the morning ("Run! Run! Don't waste any time. You have to be first!") to a car trip to the vet ("I hate to ride in the car. Whirring. Bumping. Swaying. Whimper. Whine") to dinnertime ("Be patient. Don't beg. Things drop. Crumbs. Good things. Sneaky handouts") gives the book entertaining momentum. Readers know this dog and his world through his consistently expressed point of view, both textual and visual. The impression of Murphy's hyperkinetic energy is supported through the graphic device of horizontal linearity as he moves across the bottom of most spreads in multiple images, often at a dead run, halting only on the last page as linearity turns more softly circular at day's end. Provensen skillfully balances frenetic activity with generous white space. Her oil renderings of this farm world in strong, recognizable line are a perfect foil for her more hasty, scratchy depiction of the pup himself. This is an assured but simple presentation that will earn this memorably funny dog a place on shelves and in hearts.-Kate McClelland, Perrot Memorial Library, Old Greenwich, CT Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

In this clever canine caper, Caldecott Medalist Provensen (The Glorious Flight) introduces an irrepressibly rambunctious-and chatty-narrator. Actually, he introduces himself: "Murphy-Stop-That is my name. I am a terrier. I bark./ I bark at anything and everything and all the time./ I sleep in a barn with a dumb cat and a dumb hound,/ and a lot of other dumb farm animals." In a perky, stream-of-consciousness monologue, the pooch describes his daily doings, beginning with scouring the kitchen for bits of breakfast ("Leftovers. Scraps./ The floor! The floor. Nose over every inch"). Provensen's animated oil paintings, filled with playful particulars, follow a kind of time-lapse progression as the hero enters the house through the doggy door and follows various scents until he's shooed back out the way he came, with the assistance of a broom. After licking the leaky pipe under the kitchen sink and savoring the stove's "glorious sounds and smells," Murphy hears honking outside, beckoning him for a car trip. Alas, the pet dislikes both the ride ("Snivel./ Grumble./ Groan./ Are we there yet?") and the destination-the vet ("Oh-oh, it's my turn to be/ pinched poked prodded. Doesn't hurt, but get me out of here!"). A spread of the waiting room depicts an array of furry friends from pups to elderly dogs to a wary-looking cat. Provensen's animated oil paintings follow the amiable, wide-eyed dog through the ups and downs of his day, which ends on a pleasant, predictably noisy note. Ages 3-7. (May) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

"Refreshing...Murphy practically jumps out of your hands...Alice Provensen is certainly an artist, in word and image."
-- New York Times Book Review
"An assured but simple presentation that will earn this memorably funny dog a place on shelves and in hearts."
-- School Library Journal, starred review

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