A funny book that makes you cry. A sadbook that makes you laugh. A book about two sisters and their family that makes you wish you were part of it--and grateful that you are not. In short, this book is one surprise after another. The only thing that is not a surprise is that Vera B. Williams has created a wholly unforgettable, absolutely wonderful portrait of Amber, Essie, and their world. Open the book. You will never be the same again.
"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.
Vera B. Williams lives in New York City.
In Her Own Words...
"Throughout my childhood I was encouraged to make pictures, tell stories, act, and dance--all of this at a heaven in our New York City neighborhood called the Bronx House.
"Saturdays I painted with a crusading art director, Florence Cane. In her book The Growth of the Child Through Art, I appear under the name Linda. I was sixteen when the book appeared and embarrassed by it. But at age nine I had been totally proud when a painting of mine was exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art and I was later shown in the Movietone News explaining to Eleanor Roosevelt its Yiddish title, "Yentas."
"In 1945 I went to Black Mountain College in North Carolina, a unique educational community. I graduated in 1949 in graphic art, which I studied with Josef Albers. Along the way I planted corn, made butter, worked on the printing press, and helped to build the house in which I lived with Paul Williams, a fellow student I married there.
"I wanted that connection of art and community to continue. And it did at the Gate Hill Cooperative, a community we built with other Black Mountain people, a poet, musicians, and potters. I lived and worked there from 1953-1970 (after which I moved to Canada). My children (Sarah, Jenny, Merce) grew up there. For them, we branched out into a school, part of the Surnmerhill movement. The gingerbread houses that led to my first book for Greenwillow I first made in sticky variety at our school. I have always liked to teach and have taught art, cooking, writing, nature study, for nursery age on.
"At forty-six, no longer married, living in a houseboat on the bay at Vancouver, British Columbia, I did my first book. But before that could happen, the fates decreed a stint of cooking and running a bakery at a small school in the Ontario countryside. My love affair with Canada included also a 500-mile trip on the Yukon River. Many of those adventures I put in Three Days on a River in a Red Canoe.
"I also write and draw for adults-short stories, leaflets, and posters. As a lover of children, I try to do what I can to help save their earth from nuclear disaster. This pursuit, too, has added its excitement to my biography, including, in 1981, a month's stay in the federal penitentiary in Alderson, West Virginia (an outcome of a women's peaceful blockade of the Pentagon). Perhaps this experience will some day appear in one of my books. So far I've found children's books a wonderfully accommodating medium where any of my various activities might pop up."From AudioFile:
Vera Williams zooms in on a moment of family difficulty and champions the inner strength of two sisters. In free verse accompanied by colored pencil drawings, Williams introduces Amber and Essie, who find solace in each other and support from the neighbors while their mother works and their father is temporarily away. With two accompanying narrators, Barbara Rosenblat captures the fragility of each sister and balances that with resiliency and humor. The interplay of the three voices makes each poignant vignette immediate and tangible. Who is moving in upstairs? What is a "best sandwich"? Who is standing in the doorway? Listen in and look and be ready to laugh and cry. A.R. 2004 ALA Notable Recording © AudioFile 2004, Portland, Maine-- Copyright © AudioFile, Portland, Maine
"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.
Book Description Greenwillow Books, 2001. Library Binding. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0060294612