Adelaide's Secret World
Adelaide's Secret World
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Annotation: A lonely girl living in a city filled with people makes quiet observations about those she encounters, discovering a community of other lonely people before a chance encounter with a possible kindred spirit helps her discover the transformative power of bravery, empathy, and imagination.
Catalog Number: #153353
Format: Publisher's Hardcover
No other formats available
Copyright Date: 2018
Edition Date: 2018
Pages: 40
Availability: Available
ISBN: 1-524-71454-2
ISBN 13: 978-1-524-71454-3
Dewey: E
Dimensions: 29 cm.
Language: English
ALA Booklist
Long-eared rabbit Adelaide lives alone in the shop where she works. She spends her days observing the world around her, creating trinkets that depict neighborhood residents and scenes. While walking during a rainstorm, she rescues Fox's special book and returns it to him, but is too shy to speak. Later she approaches him again, and the two form a tentative friendship, enjoying tea and conversation. This Australian import, originally rendered as a series of large oil paintings, is set in a vintage (1920 1950s) alternate reality populated by fully clothed animals of various species. Blues and greens predominate (punctuated by Adelaide's bright red coat), helping to convey her sense of solitude. The story's mood is much like a rainy day Caillebotte painting: thoughtful and intriguing, but not depressing. All the characters seem to be adults, but Hurst's message of assuaging loneliness by reaching out to others with shared interests (Fox is also an artist) is a universal one. Ideal for reading aloud and sure to generate discussion.
Publishers Weekly
A slender, humanlike rabbit named Adelaide works in a small storefront
School Library Journal
K-Gr 2 Adelaide, an elegant rabbit, lives alone in a formerly busy storefront that used to manufacture and sell small music boxes and other objets d'art. As an adult, she finds herself living a solitary existence where she observes life without taking part. From her window or a high vantage point, Adelaide watches other members of her community which includes humans as well as elephants, bears, foxes, and other rabbits. One day, her loneliness drives her outdoors and when the weather turns nasty, she makes a connection that turns her world around. Charming painterly surrealistic illustrations reveal Adelaide sitting on her rooftop greeting the day while a gondola sails through the sky and fish swim in schools high in the air. Hurst's paintings are impressive as they range from the smallest details to seemingly loose brushstrokes that reveal realistic windowpanes, rain, wind, and puddles on the street. Adelaide's candles that she arranges on her rooftop glow with warmth and light in red, orange, and yellow. VERDICT This quiet story about at how reaching out to others improves one's own life will encourage children in taking the first step toward friendship. Best shared one-on-one to pore over the lovely artwork. Maryann H. Owen, Oak Creek Public Library WI
Starred Review for Kirkus Reviews
Amid a teeming city, bustling with smartly dressed bears, foxes, cats, humans, and ostriches, rabbit Adelaide spends each day alone in her workshop safely behind a soft, red curtain. This rabbit's sensitivity, her glistening, emotive eyes, and her pert ears bring to mind other anthropomorphized bunnies: Margery Williams and William Nicholson's Velveteen Rabbit, Beatrix Potter's rabbit broods, DuBose Heyward and Marjorie Flack's country bunny and her little gold shoes, and even the psychological complexity of the scrambling rabbits of Watership Down. Moving, impressionistic oil paintings endow Adelaide with the same searing sentience, pathos, and intellect of these antecedents. Her wrenching isolation, loneliness, and ultimate desire for connection make this picture book perfectly suited for older readers. Fantastic flourishes will appeal to children of all ages; fish and sailboats fly through the streets, animals populate an urban city center, while a fox and Adelaide unknowingly document each other's lives through art. When a storm blows, forcing them to collide, readers' human hearts sing. Masterful artwork, streaked with breathtaking brush strokes and daubs of pigment, easily makes up for sometimes-unimaginative language. These portraits of animals struggling with human feelings startle with their emotional exactitude, empathy, and expert execution.Complex feelings articulated through heart-rending paintings that beg return visits. (Picture book. 5-14)
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Starred Review for Kirkus Reviews
ALA Booklist (10/1/01)
Publishers Weekly
School Library Journal (1/1/18)
Wilson's Children's Catalog
Reading Level: 2.0
Interest Level: K-3
Guided Reading Level: P
Fountas & Pinnell: P

A gorgeously illustrated picture book about creativity, making connections, and finding friendship. Sure to appeal to fans of Shaun Tan or Aaron Becker.

With a poetic story and lush paintings, Elise Hurst conveys how a bit of bravery, empathy, and imagination can transform our lives.

Adelaide lives in a city filled with people and wonders, but she is lonely. She is a watcher, and she sees others like her: the quiet ones, those who dance and dream alone.

In a chance encounter, Adelaide meets someone who just might be a kindred spirit--and is so startled and shy she runs away! But then she gathers her courage and uses all her ingenuity to make sure that they--and all the other lonely ones--meet and connect and share their dreams.

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