How to Live Forever

Colin Thompson, Author
Colin Thompson, Author Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers $17 (1p) ISBN 978-0-679-87898-8
Hardcover - 1 pages - 978-0-679-97898-5
Hardcover - 32 pages - 978-1-85681-590-1
Paperback - 232 pages - 978-1-74051-914-4
Paperback - 32 pages - 978-0-09-946181-4
Hardcover - 36 pages - 978-89-8414-119-3
Paperback - 240 pages - 978-1-74275-671-4
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Libraries will never look the same now that Thompson (Ruby; The Paper Bag Prince) has gotten ahold of them. Readers of his new picture book are plunged into a realm of boundless imagination, a library where, after hours, the shelves come to life. Rows of books become rows of townhouses with cozily lit windows, and walkways through the stacks become canals full of bustling traffic. The story centers on Peter, whose home is a cookbook, and who is searching high and low for a missing tome entitled ""How to Live Forever."" He eventually finds it, of course, but after considering the advice of an odd creature called the Ancient Child, decides not to read it. The plot is almost beside the point--what fascinates is the quirky, highly precise world Thompson has created. His art is exquisitely detailed, full of wry embellishments that beg for extended viewing. Many of the visual puns are too sophisticated for younger readers but will delight adults. When Peter visits a Chinese garden, for instance, a turn of the page moves him from full-color environs to the cool blue-and-white of the classic Blue Willow china pattern. And a shelf devoted to food contains such sly titles as ""The Guns of Macaroni,"" while the automotive section sports ""Kind Hearts and Cadillacs."" A multilayered book that excites interest on several levels, it issues an open invitation to a world readers will want to visit again and again. All ages. (May)
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