Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The Wisdom of Aldo Zelnick

by Karla Oceanak
illustrated by Kendra Spanjer
Bailiwick Press, 2011
Review copy provided by the publisher

There's wisdom to be found in children's books. Here's a segment from the new Aldo Zelnick book:

Goosy (Aldo's artsy grandma) walked me (Aldo) over to a window in her studio. She flung it open, and we peered over the sill, onto the ground below. There, behind a big bush, lay a mashed-up pile of paper, canvas, pottery, and other atrsy stuff. 
"I listen to my gut," she said. "If it tells me, 'This piece doesn't make you happy,' I just throw it away and start over." 
"But why throw it out the window?" 
"Because it fels good to throw something out a window once in a while, don't you think?" 
"But you put so much work into your art!" 
"Of course. Except I don't think of it as work. Life is mostly in the doing, anyway, not in the having. Besides, not everything we do in life deserves to be on display, Aldo."

The Aldo Zelnick books keep getting better and better. In this volume, Aldo has to deal with starting fifth grade, having a crush on his new art teacher, figuring out what to create for the art contest, learning to communicate with a new friend who is deaf, and being Nick Bottom (wearing a donkey head) in his class' performance of A Midsummer Night's Dream.


  1. Ooh, I like the sound of this one. The grandma reminds me of the one in Gordon Korman's "Schooled" - wise and honest.

  2. Fabulous! Just what I'm looking for, for next term. Quirky. Thanks for the review.


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