Saturday, June 29, 2013

Hey, Al

Cover art for HEY, AL

Author: Arthur Yorinks
Illustrator:   Richar Egielski
Publisher:  Farrar, Straus, & Giroux
Publication Year:   1986
Location: Knox County Public Library- Lawson McGhee

Awards:   Caldecott, ALA Notable, Booklist Editor's Choice

Summary:  A NY City janitor and his dog live in a small room depicted with small framed illustrations in muted colors. Once day a large colorful bird sticks his head in the window and offers to transport Al & Eddie to an island in the sky. The illustrations become deeply saturated in color and begin to burst out of the frames into gorgeous, full page spreads. At first, they're deeply happy but soon they begin to transform into birds and realize that the price is too high for living on the island. The two friends barely make it back to their muted apartment where they start to appreciate what they have.

Classroom Ideas: There's an interesting metaphor here with "a ripe fruit soon spoils" which depicts one of the themes of the tale. Another is listed on the last page: Paradise lost is sometimes Heaven found (or maybe there's no place like home.)

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