Results of the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award in the year 2000.
Inspired by a passage from Henry David Thoreau’s Walden, this wonderfully appealing story follows two friends who have very different approaches to life. When the two agree to meet one evening in Fitchburg, which is thirty miles away, each decides to get there in his own way and have surprisingly different days.
Once there was an old man who ate so much his britches burst and his buttons popped one, two, three, into the fire. “Wife! Wife!” he cried. “We are undone! My britches have burst and my buttons are burnt, every one!
After putting her husband to bed, the wife enlists the aid of her three daughters in replacing their father’s buttons. The eldest promises to find a rich man who will give her buttons in exchange for her hand in marriage. The second daughter decides to join the army for the sake of the buttons on a soldier’s uniform. And the youngest is going to run through the meadows with her apron held out before her, hoping to catch a few buttons falling from the sky. Which of these young ladies will succeed in restoring the family fortunes? The answer is the essential and satisfying stuff of fairy tales. Brock Cole’s whimsical prose and pictures make this original story feel like a hundred-year-old classic.
Gabrielle Vincent’s poignant black-and-white drawings depict a series of adventures that lead a dog from abandonment at the side of the road to acceptance by a young boy who smiles and invites the dog into his world. The story, which begins on a bleak note, ends with the triumph of resourcefulness and love. A visual tribute to life’s possibilities, it will be appreciated by readers of all ages.
“Astonishing drawings! Fierce, fleeting images that manage, despite their intense breathlessness, to meticulously tell a tale full of power and honesty. An entirely unique work of art.” —Maurice Sendak