Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Where I Live by Eileen Spinelli and Illustrated by Matt Phelan

Where I Live by Eileen Spinelli is such a "cute" book. I put cute in quotes because I am not sure I like that word to describe the book, but I guess I am sticking to it now.
A long time ago I found this little book for cheap by Eileen Spinelli (Somebody Loves You, Mr. Hatch) and I was intrigued because I really liked Jerry Spinelli, Eileen's husband. I got a lot of use out of that old little picture book. Which brings us back to this book Where I Live by Eileen Spinelli. Again I thought, what can I get out of this little book? Turns out, just a good feeling. It is not exactly a book for my age student. Probably more like third grade. However, Spinelli's interesting use of poetry/prose is perfect for this book and it left me with a good feeling about a subject that could be sad and sappy.
The main character, Diana has recently learned her father has lost his job, the family is short on money, and they will be moving in with their grandfather. For the first half of the book, Spinelli sets the scene to show how much Diana loves her own home, her friends, and her way of life. The second half of the book shows how Diana resolves her issues with moving. On top of all this, Spinelli weaves in neat things like Diana's love of poetry, writing, and all things having to do with astronomy. In the end the story comes full circle with a poem that matches the beginning poem, yet also matches Diana's new life.
One of my favorite character's in the book is Diana's younger sister, Lucy, aka "Twink." she reminds me of my own little sister, looking up to her older sister. (Or I might have just imagined that my little sister looked up to me.) Here is a small part of a poem "Twink" wrote for her older sister:
You are my big sister.
I like you the bestest
of any big sister
in the whole world.

Not to be missed in this book are the illustrations by Matt Phelan. I knew there was something special about the artwork, but I wasn't sure what it was until I read that Phelan illustrated The Higher Power of Lucky.
Other reviews of this book can be found at:
Fuse #8
Read It Again!
Book Hog
The Brack Blog

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