Thursday, May 17, 2018

Albie Newton by Josh Funk and Ester Garay

Little Albie Newton
was a thinker from the start.

He built a mega-stroller 
after taking his apart. 

The day that Albie learned to count, 
he ran to Mom and cried. 

He couldn't reach infinity,
despite how hard he tried. 

The star of Albie Newton is clearly a genius. He can do anything; even paint like Van Gogh and write sonnets (while other kids are drawing stick people and writing simple words). But, now he's just starting at a new school in the middle of the year. He wants to make friends, so he decides he's got to make something special -- a gift for the class -- and he must finish it before the school day ends. Albie sets to work gathering parts. Some might call it stealing, the way he keeps running off with things people are using or playing with, but Albie is oblivious. He's so immersed in his creation that he's causing trouble.

Dave propelled a wind-up plane across a classroom rug.
Albie picked it up and pulled its wings off with a tug. 

Evie tried to read a book with Adra and Raúl as
BOOMING PANDEMONIUM descended on the school.

So, everyone's unhappy with Albie. Until his fellow students see what he's created: a combination spaceship and time machine. Everyone hops on and the final panel shows kids in spacesuits playing with a caveman, an alien or two, a dinosaur building a pyramid, Shakespeare trying to balance a stack of books. Albie may be lost in his own world of inventions, but he has definitely created a fun invention on his first day of school.

Highly recommended - If this book has a theme, it's probably that we're not all alike in ability but we can find a way to get along. That's lost a bit in the sheer fun of the story, another rhyming tale that is a delight to read with a few giggle-inducing illustrations. I love the crazy spaceship-slash-time machine that's unveiled in the end and just the idea of it. Imagine if your (probably 1st grade) classmate was able to take you to other worlds. It's imaginative fun. And, I particularly love the "booming pandemonium" that describes how everyone's getting worked up and frustrated with Albie before they realize that he's actually got good intentions. An imaginative book about a smart kid adapting to a normal classroom in a big way.

©2018 Nancy Horner. All rights reserved. If you are reading this post at a site other than Bookfoolery or its RSS feed, you are reading a stolen feed. Email for written permission to reproduce text or photos.

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