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Don Gillmor is an award-winning journalist and travel writer. As a children's author, he has also been highly successful. The Fabulous Song, illustrated by Marie-Louise Gay, won the Mr. Christie Book Award, and like The Christmas Orange, was nominated for the Governor Generals Award for text. Marie-Louise Gay is the author and illustrator of numerous children's books. Her long list of honors includes the Governor Generals Award, the Amelia Frances Howard-Gibbon Medal, and the Mr. Christie Book Award. Midnight Mimi, Moonbeam on a Cat's Ear, Fat Charlie's Circus, and Willy Nilly are among her famous books.
K-Gr 4-An amusing picture-book fantasy with an endearing young protagonist. On the first page, Austin Grouper is riding his bicycle, speeding downhill, wholly unaware of what is about to hit him. Then his mother instructs him to go and welcome the new girl next door, and that is the boy's last moment of certainty and confidence. He develops a crush on Amy, and is by turns bewildered, stunned, fascinated, and repulsed by her. He shows off by spouting facts and builds her a life-sized Apatosaurus out of Popsicle sticks, while she placidly accepts his attention. When he is invited to her birthday party, he dresses up like a cowboy, lassos the moon, chases it through 22 countries, and then gives it to her as a gift. Gillmor does an excellent job of depicting a young boy's first crush. Throughout the story, Austin's attempts at conversation fail miserably, and he and Amy often seem to be speaking two different languages. Gay's wonderful watercolor illustrations are filled with humor. Amy's cats are sprinkled throughout the pictures, silently observing their young neighbor's frustrations and emotions. Details such as the sharp part in Austin's hair and leaves hanging from a rake really bring the story to life. When Austin and Amy finally connect and head off to eat birthday cake together, readers will share their happiness.-Susan Marie Pitard, Weezie Library for Children, Nantucket Atheneum, MA Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
Gillmor and Gay (The Fabulous Song) team up again for a sympathetic account of a childhood crush in this good-natured book, which wisely mentions love only in the title. Austin Grouper says "yuck" when he hears that Amy, a girl his age, has moved in next door. Yet he courts her attention by dressing as a superhero and sculpting a dinosaur out of Popsicle sticks in her yard. " `Dinosaurs had very small brains,' Amy said. She was wearing a blue sweater with horses on it. `So do you,' Austin told her, and went home." On Amy's birthday, Austin doesn't get her an ordinary present. He literally lassoes the moon (alluding to It's a Wonderful Life's romance) and drags it into Amy's backyard, although he never explains why he goes to so much trouble for a girl. Amy accepts his gift politely. Gay, whose round-faced characters recall Charles M. Schulz's Peanuts, pays attention to small details. A loyal brown dog follows Austin everywhere, and Amy's three orange-spotted kittens observe each awkward meeting between the tentative couple. Gillmor portrays Austin's contradictory behavior with understanding, but doesn't sustain the screwball comedy; Amy doesn't tease Austin back, and Austin spends too many spreads alone, wrangling with the moon. The book veers into fantasy rather than developing the everyday drama it so nicely introduces. Ages 4-8. (Nov.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
"Author Don Gillmor and illustrator Marie-Louise Gay are back with another absolutely hilarious picture book. . . The exuberant zaniness of Gay's watercolour illustrations nicely complements Gillmor's wry sense of humour. Gillmor has taken a relatively simple boy-meets-girl kind of story and given it new life with his ironic eye and comic's gift of timing. Where Gillmor works by way of quiet understatement, Gay's brightly coloured pictures make this goofy love story a big event." -- Quill & Quire "An amusing picture book fantasy with an endearing young protagonist." -- School Library Journal "Author Don Gillmor and illustrator Marie-Louise Gay are back with another absolutely hilarious picture book. . . The exuberant zaniness of Gay's watercolour illustrations nicely complements Gillmor's wry sense of humour. Gillmor has taken a relatively simple boy-meets-girl kind of story and given it new life with his ironic eye and comic's gift of timing. Where Gillmor works by way of quiet understatement, Gay's brightly coloured pictures make this goofy love story a big event." -- "Quill & Quire" "An amusing picture book fantasy with an endearing young protagonist." -- "School Library Journal"