Me, All Alone, at the End of the World
Me, All Alone, at the End of the World
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Annotation: A boy enjoys living quietly by himself at The End of the World until Mr. Constantine Shimmer, "Professional Visionary," builds an inn and an amusement park, demanding that tourists come and have "Fun Without End!"
Catalog Number: #138196
Format: Publisher's Hardcover
All Formats: Search
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Copyright Date: 2017
Edition Date: 2017
Illustrator: Hawkes, Kevin,
Pages: 48
Availability: Available
ISBN: 0-7636-8902-5
ISBN 13: 978-0-7636-8902-5
Dewey: Fic
LCCN: 2002034858
Dimensions: 25 cm.
Language: English
ALA Booklist
In this surreal picture book from the team behind Handel, Who Knew What He Liked (2001), elements of old-fashioned storybook design (inset paintings resembling color plates, delicate line drawings) play against complex themes most appropriate for readers in the middle grades and beyond. A Professional Visionary has converted a boy's home at the End of the World into a pleasure park: Fun chock-a-block from your eyes to your teeth! The transformation is viscerally charted in Hawkes' electric watercolor-and-acrylic paintings, in which scenes of mystical tranquility give way to dizzying views of soulless carnival amusements. Though initially drawn in, the narrator eventually tires of the frenetic lifestyle and departs for another secluded refuge. The familiar illustrator and format may draw very young browsers, but the longer, poetic text and allusive images are better cued to more experienced, articulate readers, who, with an adult's help, may discern echoes of Shelley's Ozymandius in images of ancient, crumbling monuments, and recognize nods to Toulouse-Lautrec in the luridly colored party scenes.
Horn Book
A boy lives happily in quiet isolation at the End of the World until the effusive Constantine Shimmer decides to build a resort there. The invasion that follows introduces the narrator to the joys of friendship but also teaches him to discriminate between excitement and happiness. Hawkes's illustrations celebrate natural beauty and sparkle with wit.
Kirkus Reviews
A solitary idyll is disturbed by easy entertainment in this gorgeous, complex fable. The nameless narrator, dressed like Huck Finn in overalls with no shirt or shoes, lives peacefully by himself at the End of the World, satisfied with uncomplicated kid-like fancies. But Once-ler-like Constantine Shimmer, Professional Visionary, turns up and proceeds to turn the End of the World into a tourist haven, complete with Hang-Glidery, O-Frost-A-Thon and Yow-Gulf-O-Drop, and the exhortation to have "fun all the time!" This great cosmic disturbance brings real friends for the narrator; they come with the seasons and play with the boy, in the woods and on Shimmer's ever-more-elaborate contraptions. Anderson's text is gloriously cadenced, celebrating simple pleasures even as it acknowledges the dangerous appeal of man-made attractions. Hawkes's illustrations complement the language perfectly, serenely balanced compositions giving way to sinister colors and frenetic perspectives, returning to balance only when the narrator flees to the Top of the World. The narrative makes its point clearly, encouraging readers to make space for solitude, but also acknowledges the need for companionship. A work that requires—and is eminently worthy of—many re-readings. (Picture book. 6-10)
School Library Journal
Gr 2-4-Living at the end of the world with only his mule for company, an unnamed boy delights in the simple pleasures of treasure hunting and listening to the wind until the day his solitude is disrupted by the arrival of Constantine Shimmer, who brings noise and chaos in his wake. The vigorous old gentleman decides to conduct "Galvano-Magical End of the World Tours," which promise "Fun All the Time." He builds a hotel and an amusement park, turning the boy's serene retreat into a bustling tourist attraction. Three of the vacationing children befriend the youngster, and he enjoys the novelty and excitement of so much activity for a short time, but soon realizes that he misses the wind. With a quiet sense of purpose, he decides to leave. Bidding farewell to his friends, he flies away in a hot-air balloon to set up a new solitary home at the top of the world. The story, which addresses some thought-provoking, philosophical issues, is complemented by full-page watercolor and acrylics illustrations that resonate with old-fashioned charm, as well as smaller ink sketches on the text pages. Contemplative young readers will be enthusiastically carried along with the boy and his friends as they make their way through Mr. Shimmer's magical tourist destination, but, like the narrator, they will appreciate the quiet of their own homes as they reach the final page. Anderson and Hawkes, who collaborated on Handel, Who Knew What He Liked (Candlewick, 2001), have triumphed again with this imaginative fable.-Linda L. Walkins, Mount Saint Joseph Academy, Brighton, MA Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
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ALA Booklist
Horn Book (4/1/18)
Kirkus Reviews
School Library Journal
Word Count: 1,721
Reading Level: 3.5
Interest Level: 1-4
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 3.5 / points: 0.5 / quiz: 102068 / grade: Lower Grades
Reading Counts!: reading level:4.5 / points:3.0 / quiz:Q37467
Lexile: AD650L

From the celebrated picture-book team of M. T. Anderson and Kevin Hawkes comes a wistful, wondrous ode to the natural pleasures of peace and solitude.

The boy lives alone at the End of the World, hunting treasure with old maps, finding fossils, whistling tunes, playing ball by the drop. It's a peaceful, contemplative life, and the boy is content. Until, that is, a self-styled Professional Visionary arrives and puts up a sign: CONSTANTINE SHIMMER'S GALVANO-MAGICAL END OF THE WORLD TOURS. FUN ALL THE TIME! Soon men with machines come to pave a clearing for the inn and theme park, and the touring children seem nice, but still. . . . M. T. Anderson's lyric homage to simplicity and self-reliance is brought to life in arresting detail by the masterful artwork of Kevin Hawkes, creating a fantastical yet evocative world sure to resonate with everyone who enters it.

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