La La La: A Story of Hope
La La La: A Story of Hope

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Annotation: Conceived by Kate DiCamillo and featuring illustrations by Jaime Kim, this nearly wordless story follows a little girl who ventures out into the world in search of a friend.
Catalog Number: #148757
Format: Perma-Bound Edition from Publisher's Hardcover
All Formats: Search
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Copyright Date: 2017
Edition Date: 2017
Illustrator: Kim, Jaime,
Pages: 72
Availability: Available
ISBN: Publisher: 0-7636-5833-2 Perma-Bound: 0-605-99141-3
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-0-7636-5833-5 Perma-Bound: 978-0-605-99141-5
Dewey: E
LCCN: 2017955999
Dimensions: 21 x 22 cm.
Language: English
ALA Booklist
DiCamillo and Kim combine their considerable talents in this almost wordless picture book that speaks to a universal longing: the hope that we are not alone. When the story begins, the girl with the bobbed hair is alone, with only the sound of her repeated sung note, "la," to keep her company. Perhaps following a falling leaf outside and into the woods will bring her in contact with another? But even a shouted "la, la, la" doesn't elicit companionship. Discouraged but not done, she continues into the night, under the stars, where she finds a ladder to climb most to the moon. It's not until she's back on the ground, almost ready to quit that a "la" answers her own, and the smiling presence of the moon shines its way into her existence. Kim's gouache-and-acrylic artwork, graphically strong and full of heart, illuminates DiCamillo's concept. Adults could almost use this as a flip-book with children, so full of movement are the pictures. But the best use will be as a springboard for discussion about loneliness, life, and love. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: DiCamillo is among kid lit's top names. Everyone will need to have this, if not multiple copies of it.
Horn Book
A girl sings "La" alone. She appreciates the sound but wants accompaniment. She tries singing to a tree ("La La La"), to a plant ("La La?"), and finally to the moon, which ultimately answers her song ("LA! LA! LA!"). This practically wordless book--featuring leaf- and light-speckled outdoor scenes rendered in watercolor, ink, and digital techniques--has much to say about collaboration and persistence.
Kirkus Reviews
A lonely child's perseverance helps her find the unlikeliest of companions.With a single "La," a small Asian child confidently begins to sing, standing in a shaft of light. Within a few gray-hued pages, the girl (identified as such in the author's and illustrator's notes) realizes that she's singing alone. Her imaginary spotlight gone, she stomps off to chase the colorful leaves outside. Still alone, she sings and shouts "Laaaaaaaaa!" to no avail. Dejected, she goes home, venturing out again in the purple evening. She tries hard to get the moon's attention, even climbing a ladder to sing to it. (Here, her "La"s are set in black type against the dark purple sky, posing a low-contrast challenge to legibility.) Finally, the moon responds with a firm "LA!" to begin a sparkling duet. In a nearly wordless book, DiCamillo delivers an inspiring, powerful story beautifully realized through Kim's mixed-media illustrations. At more than twice the length of a standard 32-page picture book, that's quite a feat. The square format contains soft colors that contrast with strong geometric design elements, subtly underscoring the push and pull of emotional tension. The limited palette of comforting, complementary purples and yellows along with the character's expressive body language evoke both her loneliness and determination to overcome it. For a dreamer, it's easy to imagine a singer in the benevolent face in the moon—here it's a symbol of hope. (Picture book. 5-adult)
Publishers Weekly
A small girl with blunt-cut hair and a determined look shuts her eyes and folds her hands. -La,- she sings. She tries a few more notes: -La La La.- Nothing happens. She wanders across the pages and outdoors, singing to falling maple leaves. They don-t sing back. She sings to the starry purple sky. Nothing. She drags a ladder outside and climbs up to the full moon: -La La.- No response. Though the girl is singing, she-s not performing or showing off. She-s simply saying: -See me! Acknowledge me! Play with me!- And though recognition is a long time coming, when the full golden moon finally sings back to her, it-s a triumph. Kim-s spreads form a long, almost cinematic sequence. The girl is adorable, though the night world she moves through is dazzling rather than cute-it takes bravery and audacity to sing to that beauty. DiCamillo-s story, told with a single word, is one even youngest readers can understand. Everyone wants to be seen, and everyone wants someone to sing back to them. Ages 4-8. Author-s agent: Holly McGhee, Pippin Properties. Illustrator-s agent: Claire Easton, Painted Words. (Oct.)
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2A small girl, all alone, sends forth a tentative "la" but receives no reply. Venturing outside, she follows orange leaves past trees and pond and peers through tall grasses. No animals. No people. Just her repetitive, increasingly urgent variations of "La? Laaaa!" Day turns to purple night with shimmering starlight. Even climbing a ladder to the moon fails to garner a response. Dejected, she falls asleep and wakens to a reply at last. Golden moon knows LA! LA! too. Although DiCamillo provided the story concept, its development and execution rest squarely with artist Kim. Her cinematic watercolor and ink illustrations convey the shifting emotions of the main character, and her nighttime scenes are particularly luminous. This low-key, visually striking exploration of loneliness and friendship may resonate with adults and some introspective children, but broad appeal seems unlikely. Educators could use it as a writing prompt or discussion starter or for encouraging children to express their feelings in some kind of visual mediumpainting, collage, clay work. Overall, Kim has taken DiCamillo's "small, tentative song" and turned it into a chorale. VERDICT With DiCamillo's popularity and publisher plans for an extensive marketing campaign, this title is likely to be in demand.Kathy Piehl, Minnesota State University Library, Mankato
Reviewing Agencies: - Find Other Reviewed Titles
Starred Review for Publishers Weekly
ALA Booklist (8/1/17)
Horn Book (4/1/18)
Kirkus Reviews
School Library Journal (9/1/17)
Reading Level: 1.0
Interest Level: P-2

Conceived by Kate DiCamillo and featuring enchanting illustrations by Jaime Kim, this nearly wordless graphic story follows a little girl in search of a friend.

“La la la . . . la.” A little girl stands alone and sings, but hears no response. Gathering her courage and her curiosity, she skips farther out into the world, singing away to the trees and the pond and the reeds — but no song comes back to her. Day passes into night, and the girl dares to venture into the darkness toward the light of the moon, becoming more insistent in her singing, climbing as high as she can, but still there is silence in return. Dejected, she falls asleep on the ground, only to be awakened by an amazing sound. . . . She has been heard. At last. With the simplest of narratives and the near absence of words, Kate DiCamillo conveys a lonely child’s yearning for someone who understands. With a subtle palette and captivating expressiveness, Jaime Kim brings to life an endearing character and a transcendent landscape that invite readers along on an emotionally satisfying journey.

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