Quote of the Month

When love and skill work together, expect a miracle. John Ruskin

Monday, November 28, 2011

Precious Prolific Polacco

With more than fifty titles to her credit, Patrica Polacco has penned a new tale that highlights her strengths as a memorable author and illustrator, Bun Bun Button.  Polacco states that this book was inspired by a young visitor at one of her presentations; a visitor that presented her with the gift of a much loved stuffed bunny.  Seeing stories in the everyday is Patricia Polacco's gift to her readers; raising our awareness and appreciation, bringing our attention to the little details in life.

Paige Elizabeth Darling adored her gramma.

So begins the narrative of Paige's many helpful visits to her Gramma; baking soft sand cookies, making beds and feeding the household cats and dogs.  At day's end the two cuddle and read in the Old Blue Chair, something they cherish.  In fact all the critters crave that chair, even Gramma's pet squirrel and goldfish.
Gramma believes Old Blue Chair absorbs so much love from those in the house that it surrounds whoever sits there with that love.

Sitting in the chair one day, Paige vocalizes her realization that she does not have a toy to hold; the cats, dogs and squirrel do though.  Gramma finds the perfect piece of fabric to stitch together the sweetest, stuffed bunny with a little button nose.  Bun Bun Button is what the pleased Paige names her.  Given a small pocket in her right ear by Gramma for Paige to place her finger when Bun Bun Button is snuggled next to her face makes this a very extraordinary friend.

The two are naturally inseparable; until Bun Bun Button takes an unscheduled flight one afternoon as the biggest, reddest balloon that Gramma could buy takes her up, up and away.  Inconsolable, Paige is reassured by Gramma that the Darlings have always been lucky.

A high flying adventure is a huge treat for Bun Bun Button; bouncing on the breezes, rollicking through rain, soaring beneath a moon sliver starry sky and tangling with feathered flocks.  Much to her surprise the next morning her trip is cut short as she suddenly tumbles toward the ground.  Landing in the lowest limb of a certain willow tree picked up by a certain squirrel, she is dropped at the feet of a very special Gramma.

Using pencil and markers Patricia Polacco masterfully presents a portrait of a grandmother, her granddaughter and a treasured toy.  The soft night speckled with stars as a backdrop for the cheery, yellow, flowered Bun Bun Button big red balloon tied about her wrist, is not typical of Polacco who usually has light covers colorfully covered by her characters.  Endpapers sporting Bun Bun Button in various poses across stark white is a delightful contrast.

The joyful exuberance that all characters feel for one another in Gramma's abode is evident in expression and gesture.  Even the goldfish gets in on the action leaning on the edge of the bowl or jumping in the air when events warrant such displays.  The two page spreads with some or all of the characters, Paige, Gramma, the two Scottie dogs, five Siamese cats, pet squirrel and goldfish, exude welcome warmth.

Some of my favorite illustrations are Gramma finding the cloth in her calico chest laughing as all are gathered around her, Paige nestled in bed at night next to an open window showing the moon and stars holding Bun Bun Button with the dogs, cats and squirrel surrounding her like love, and all of them sitting in Old Blue Chair.

READS Homework Helper is hosting a Twitter Book Party on December 6, 2011 at 7pm and is free to all participants.  This virtual conversation with Patricia Polacco will be about Bun Bun Button.

Bun Bun Button is a priceless, pleasurable piece of life sure to deliver delight at each reading; a treasure in every sense of the word.

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