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The Balcony



written and illustrated by
Melissa Castrillón

Edition
Hardcover edition
Publisher
Simon & Schuster
Imprint
Paula Wiseman
ISBN
9781534405882
POTENTIALLY SENSITIVE AREAS
None
$12.90   $10.75
SEE MEMBER PRICE
QTY

JLG Category

Primary Plus

When a little girl moves from her home to an apartment in the city, she takes her pretty plants with her, and one by one they grow and bloom and change both her world and the world all around her as she makes a new friend. When your heart is open, the world is full of possibilities.

Full-color illustrations were rendered in pencil and then colored digitally.

POTENTIALLY SENSITIVE AREAS
None

Details

Format

Print

Page Count

48

Trim Size

11 1/2" x 6"

Dewey

E

AR

0: points 0

Lexile

NP

Genre

Fiction

Scholastic Reading Counts

0

JLG Release

Mar 2020

Book Genres

Picture Book

Topics

Moving households. Apartment houses. Plants. Gardens. Friendship. City and town life.

Standard MARC Records

Download Standard MARC Records

Cover Art

Download Cover Art

Praise & Reviews

Starred or favorable reviews have been received from these periodicals:

Publishers Weekly, School Library Journal

School Library Journal

A young girl brings along her love of the outdoors as she makes the adjustment of moving from a country home to a city apartment in this mostly wordless attestation to the possibilities of change and the meaning of home. When her mother receives a great job offer in the city, a girl is heartbroken to leave her home’s lush garden where she has found solace with the flora and fauna, only to move to an apartment where the main access to the outdoors is a small, barren balcony. Soon, with some seeds she brought with her, she starts a balcony garden that quickly flourishes, spilling over to the balconies below hers. While enjoying her garden, she meets a friend, which leads to a satisfying realization that home can be a lot of things. With only a few elegantly hand lettered words, Castrillón’s richly hued digital and pencil Ottoman-style illustrations carry the story. Making use of the book’s narrow shape, she moves back and forth between spreads and vignettes that add pacing and offer moments to pause and bask in the splendor of the magical world the girl is creating. Centered on the child’s story, other story lines unfold in the background, reinforcing the book’s theme of hope in change. A book to assuage the fear of moving to a new home, this lovely illustrated tale will be a delightful addition to most collections.

Horn Book

Castrillón presents an almost-wordless story of a child uprooted by a family move and the growth in self, surroundings, and community that results. At the start, the protagonist enjoys a serene moment surrounded by lush scenery and country wildlife while a postal vehicle is shown winding through rolling hills to deliver a letter. Readers see that the letter promises the child’s mother a “job at our city office,” and next the family members prepare for their move. Birds and squirrels watch (through tears) as the family departs; the countryside’s curves and green hues disappear as the zigzags and sharp angles of the city begin to dominate. Lonely but hopeful, the protagonist begins tending seeds on their new apartment’s balcony. As the plants grow and bloom, the neighborhood starts to turn into an urban gardener’s paradise, formerly disconnected members of the community begin to connect, and a flower shop opens downstairs. Friendly wildlife creatures also find their way in as the child re-creates a scene from the book’s beginning— now on the plant-filled balcony with a new friend. Key words (“Home / Good-bye / Hope / Bloom / Hello / Friends / Home”) are carefully placed on the pages, hand-lettered in cursive above vibrantly hued pencil drawings. Circle motifs seen throughout, as well as the botanical endpapers, also support the themes of begin¬nings and endings, cycles and growth. A beautiful reflection on adjusting to new surroundings and on blooming where planted.

Praise & Reviews

School Library Journal

A young girl brings along her love of the outdoors as she makes the adjustment of moving from a country home to a city apartment in this mostly wordless attestation to the possibilities of change and the meaning of home. When her mother receives a great job offer in the city, a girl is heartbroken to leave her home’s lush garden where she has found solace with the flora and fauna, only to move to an apartment where the main access to the outdoors is a small, barren balcony. Soon, with some seeds she brought with her, she starts a balcony garden that quickly flourishes, spilling over to the balconies below hers. While enjoying her garden, she meets a friend, which leads to a satisfying realization that home can be a lot of things. With only a few elegantly hand lettered words, Castrillón’s richly hued digital and pencil Ottoman-style illustrations carry the story. Making use of the book’s narrow shape, she moves back and forth between spreads and vignettes that add pacing and offer moments to pause and bask in the splendor of the magical world the girl is creating. Centered on the child’s story, other story lines unfold in the background, reinforcing the book’s theme of hope in change. A book to assuage the fear of moving to a new home, this lovely illustrated tale will be a delightful addition to most collections.

Horn Book

Castrillón presents an almost-wordless story of a child uprooted by a family move and the growth in self, surroundings, and community that results. At the start, the protagonist enjoys a serene moment surrounded by lush scenery and country wildlife while a postal vehicle is shown winding through rolling hills to deliver a letter. Readers see that the letter promises the child’s mother a “job at our city office,” and next the family members prepare for their move. Birds and squirrels watch (through tears) as the family departs; the countryside’s curves and green hues disappear as the zigzags and sharp angles of the city begin to dominate. Lonely but hopeful, the protagonist begins tending seeds on their new apartment’s balcony. As the plants grow and bloom, the neighborhood starts to turn into an urban gardener’s paradise, formerly disconnected members of the community begin to connect, and a flower shop opens downstairs. Friendly wildlife creatures also find their way in as the child re-creates a scene from the book’s beginning— now on the plant-filled balcony with a new friend. Key words (“Home / Good-bye / Hope / Bloom / Hello / Friends / Home”) are carefully placed on the pages, hand-lettered in cursive above vibrantly hued pencil drawings. Circle motifs seen throughout, as well as the botanical endpapers, also support the themes of begin¬nings and endings, cycles and growth. A beautiful reflection on adjusting to new surroundings and on blooming where planted.

Grades K-1
Primary Plus
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14 books per Year
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Interests
Beginning Readers,Fiction,Picture Books,Storytime/Read Alouds
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